Motion to TUC Congress 2019: “Free our unions – Repeal the anti-union laws”

The Fire Brigades Union has submitted the following motion to the 2019 TUC Congress (8-11 September, Brighton).

For the amendments proposed by various unions, see the TUC website. For all motions and amendments, see here. For a PDF of them all, see here.

For the Free Our Unions Congress fringe meeting on 10 September, see here.

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Free our unions – repeal the anti-union laws

Congress notes that the anti-trade union laws – not just the 2016 Trade Union Act, but multiple laws going back to 1980 – continually undermine workers’ ability to organise and campaign.

These laws mean our movement is fighting the challenges of low pay, insecurity and erosion of hard-won terms and conditions with our hands tied behind our backs.

Congress welcomes recent Labour Party conference policy (2015, 2017, 2018) to repeal all anti-union laws and replace them with strong legal rights for workers and unions, including rights to strike and picket.

Congress believes it is crucial the next Labour government acts quickly to implement this policy.

Congress believes workers need strong rights to join, recruit to and be represented by an independent union; strike/take industrial action by a process, at a time and for demands of their own choosing, including in solidarity with any other workers and for broader social and political goals; and picket freely.

Congress welcomes Labour’s commitment to reviving collective bargaining but believes that – to quote the Institute of Employment Rights – “collective bargaining without the right to strike is collective begging”.

Congress agrees to campaign, and encourage affiliated unions and trades councils to campaign, for the repeal of all anti-union laws and their replacement with strong legal rights, including to strike and picket; and for a clear commitment on this from Labour.

Congress agrees that the General Council will ensure that these demands are central to all campaigning around employment and workers’ rights, such as the New Deal Charter.

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