‘Free Our Unions’ motion to RMT conference 2019

The following motion has been submitted to the RMT rail and transport union’s annual conference (23-27 June, Manchester) by East Ham branch.

This conferences notes that anti-union laws restrict effective trade unionism. Restrictions include:

• Industrial action only after a two week notice period and a secret postal ballot in which we need a 40% yes vote (for essential public services like transport) on a 50% turnout.
• A ban on industrial action in solidarity with workers of another employer or for wider social and political causes.
• Regulations on union finances, unions′ political involvement and how we run our picket lines.

This conference notes that the Labour Party leadership is pledging to repeal the 2016 Trade Union Act within its first 100 days of taking office.

This conference notes that recent Labour Party Conferences have voted unanimously in favour of repealing all the anti-union laws and supporting “a strong legal charter of workers’ rights” including the “right to strike” (2017 Conference).

This conference welcomes the Free Our Unions Campaign initiated by Lambeth Unison and supported by a range of trade union bodies including RMT London Transport Regional Council and Eastern Region FBU. This campaign is working to repeal all anti-union laws and enshrine workers′ rights. It is particularly focused on pushing the Labour Party to act on this important policy.

This conference believes:

That repealing the 2016 Trade Union Act would not do enough to give trade unions the freedom to take action how and when we want, e.g. solidarity action would still be illegal. We need the repeal of all anti-union laws.

That the trade union movement must build pressure on the Labour Party to make the most of a historic opportunity, the prospect of a left-led Labour Party repealing all anti-union laws when elected to government.

This conference resolves:

1. To add RMT as a signatory to the Free Our Unions campaign
2. To circulate information about the campaign to all RMT branches, asking for branches to support the campaign.
3. To purchase and circulate campaign materials to all branches, e.g. the pamphlet ‘Free Our Unions’.
4. To invite speakers from the campaign to speak at RMT branches, conferences and training events.
5. To write to members of the RMT Parliamentary Group, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, expressing RMT′s support for free trade unions and urging them to publicly support this policy.
6. To support a motion on free trade unions in line with this policy at TUC conference.

Let us know what you think? Write a reply? theclarionmag@gmail.com

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