With the election of a hard-right Tory government promising new restrictions on the right to strike, it is more urgent than ever that the entire labour movement unites to resist anti-union laws.

Free Our Unions was initiated by The Clarion magazine and Lambeth Unison. It is now backed by dozens of unions branches, committees, and local Labour Parties. Four national trade unions – IWGB, FBU, RMT, and PCS – have supported the campaign via their Annual General Meetings and/or National Executive Committees. It was initially established to promote and amplify policies passed at Labour Party conferences calling for the abolition of all anti-union laws, not only the most recent, and to demand Labour fight for this policy in opposition and commit to enacting it in government. (For more background to the campaign, click here.)

Free Our Unions now plans renewed campaigning against the Tories’ proposed new laws, and is calling for united and coordinated activity between existing campaign groups currently active on these issues.

Discussing UK anti-strike laws on Australian community radio

Daniel Randall, a co-organiser of our campaign, was recently invited onto “Stick Together”, a labour-movement-based show on Australian community radio station 3CR, to discuss class struggle on London Underground, and the role of public transport in confronting climate change. The conversation also covered the UK’s anti-strike laws. You can listen to the show on theContinue reading “Discussing UK anti-strike laws on Australian community radio”

Public (Zoom) meeting, 7pm, Thursday 9 December: How postal workers maintained a tradition of unofficial action

7pm, Thursday 9 DecemberLog in via Zoom here The UK’s restrictive anti-strike legislation, which requires unions to ballot members individually, by post, and to give significant notice periods to employers prior to ballots and prior to any action, is consciously designed to render strikes less effective and impactful. Workers in the postal service have retainedContinue reading “Public (Zoom) meeting, 7pm, Thursday 9 December: How postal workers maintained a tradition of unofficial action”

For a national demo against anti-union laws!

In recent months, three major labour movement bodies – the TUC Congress, Unite’s policy conference, and the RMT AGM – have passed policies calling for a protests, including a national demonstration, against existing and proposed anti-union and anti-strike laws. RMT’s policy resolved: • To call a national demonstration to resist the law.• To approach otherContinue reading “For a national demo against anti-union laws!”

RMT says: we won’t comply with new anti-strike laws

The recent AGM of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers passed several motions on resisting anti-union laws. These reaffirmed RMT’s strong opposition to all legal restrictions on the right to organise and strike, both existing and proposed, and committed the union to continue working with campaigns including Free Our Unions. Crucially, inContinue reading “RMT says: we won’t comply with new anti-strike laws”

Free Our Unions at the COP26 People’s Summit

Free Our Unions is co-sponsoring a meeting at the People’s Summit running alongside the COP26 climate conference. Check out the Facebook event here. The meeting, entitled “Workers’ action for the climate and the fight for free trade unions” takes place on Tuesday 9 November, at 11:45am, in Screen 3 at the Glasgow Film Theatre, 12Continue reading “Free Our Unions at the COP26 People’s Summit”

Unite reaffirms opposition to all anti-union laws

Unite’s policy conference passed a comprehensive composite on the anti-union laws, committing the union to organising a demonstration and conference against the laws, and breaking the laws where necessary. We reproduce the motion in full below. Unite has previously taken a similarly strong stance against anti-union laws; earlier this year, Free Our Unions supporters inContinue reading “Unite reaffirms opposition to all anti-union laws”

What Unite’s climate change policy says about the anti-union laws

On 18 October, the national policy conference of the Unite union passed a comprehensive motion on climate change. We reproduce the motion in full below, but highlight in particular its sections on anti-strike laws. The motion commits Unite to producing “guidance on what climate-related demands to include in collective bargaining, including ones which could beContinue reading “What Unite’s climate change policy says about the anti-union laws”

Open organising meeting, Tuesday 2 November, 6:30pm

Free Our Unions will hold our next open organising meeting via Zoom on Tuesday 2 November at 6:30pm. These meetings, which we hold roughly six-weekly, are open to all supporters of our campaign, and are the means by which we decide on and plan future meetings, activities, and initiatives. If you want to get involvedContinue reading “Open organising meeting, Tuesday 2 November, 6:30pm”

Black History Month: Martin Luther King on workers’ solidarity action

As part of our activities marking Black History Month 2021, we republish an article from 2008, originally published by Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack in Firefighter magazine. The article is of wider interest, but we would highlight the point Matt made about MLK’s call for other Memphis workers to take solidarity action in supportContinue reading “Black History Month: Martin Luther King on workers’ solidarity action”

Some critical notes on the “New Deal for Working People” Green Paper

A discussion article written by a supporter of Free Our Unions At the 2021 Labour conference a “New Deal for Working People” Green Paper was published by shadow secretary of state for employment rights Andy McDonald – who then resigned over the leadership’s opposition to a £15ph minimum wage and living-wage-level sick pay. The Green Paper is as good asContinue reading “Some critical notes on the “New Deal for Working People” Green Paper”