Update: the motion passed unanimously, with a small amendment. We’ll publish the final text soon.
A motion on the anti-union laws was submitted to the national conference of public sector union Unison, but unfortunately not reached on the agenda. Unison has a separate “Labour Link” structure for decisions connected to the Labour Party. The following motion is going from the union’s London region to the national Labour Link conference (4-7 July, York).
Trade Union Freedom
1. Labour Link Forum applauds the unanimous decision by the 2017 Labour Party conference to call for repeal of not just the 2016 Trade Union Act but also the “anti-union laws introduced in the 1980s and 90s” by the Thatcher and Major Tory governments and kept in place after 1997; and for a “strong legal charter of workers’ rights”. “For unions to be effective workers need an effective right to strike”. This builds on the 2015 conference decision, also unanimous, that the next Labour government should “legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action”.
2. UNISON Labour Link will campaign for the Labour Party to:
· Repeal all the anti-union laws introduced after 1979.
· Introduce strong legal rights for workers to join, belong to and recruit others to a union; strike by a process, at a time and for demands of their own choosing, including in solidarity with other workers and for broader social and political goals; and picket freely.
· Introduce strong legal rights for unions to access workplaces, win recognition and engage in collective bargaining, including sector-wide bargaining.
· Campaign and legislate for the right of unions to determine their own structures, rules and processes, decide their own policies and activities, and spend their funds as they choose, free from state and employer interference, in line with ILO Conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights.
3. UNISON Labour Link call on all UNISON backed MPs to publicly support these demands for trade union freedom.
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