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.
The annual congress of the TUC, which took place on 14-15 September, adopted a resolution proposed by the TUC Trades Councils conference, calling for renewed campaigning against anti-union laws, including a demonstration and a special conference for workplace reps. Free Our Unions strongly supports and welcomes this resolution, and looks forward to working with theContinue reading “TUC agrees to organise a demo and conference to oppose anti-union laws”
The Disabled Members conference of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport workers (RMT) has passed a resolution reaffirming opposition to all anti-union and anti-strike laws, and resolving to work with Free Our Unions to campaign against them. See the report on the RMT London Transport Region website here. The resolution says: “We deploreContinue reading “RMT disabled members say: repeal all anti-union laws!”
This is a discussion piece from a supporter of our campaign. To contribute a response, or an article of your own, please email email@example.com. At the end of August, players in the US’s National Basketball Association effectively went on unofficial strike in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the Milwaukee Bucks teamContinue reading “Striking for Black Lives: Trade Unions and Political Strikes”
Our new campaign statement was launched on LabourList today, bringing together Labour MPs, union officials, and rank-and-file activists to demand trade union freedom and the right to strike. Explaining the motivation for organising the statement, Free Our Unions co-organiser Daniel Randall said: “The pandemic has reinforced how much of a barrier Britain’s anti-union and anti-strikeContinue reading “Labour MPs, union leaders, and grassroots activists say: free our unions!”
Free Our Unions sends our solidarity to refuse workers in Glasgow, who struck on 8 September in defiance of draconian balloting restrictions. The action was sparked by an attempt by council bosses to unilaterally increase workers’ hours. Like many workers across the country, Glasgow bin workers have been working reduced hours during the pandemic toContinue reading “Solidarity with Glasgow bin workers!”
The Labour left organisation Momentum recently emailed its membership to canvas ideas for policies that Momentum-backed candidates in the elections for Labour’s National Executive Committee, standing as part of the “Grassroots Voice” slate, should advocate. We publish a response, below, from Labour Party member and Momentum supporter Riccardo la Torre, National Officer of the FireContinue reading “Labour NEC elections: fight for free trade unions and the right to strike!”
In May, Bloomberg journalist Alex Morales asked Business Secretary Alok Sharma at the Downing Street press briefing whether, in light of government rhetoric about “working with unions” and valuing essential workers, the government still planned to bring forward new laws to restrict transport workers’ right to strike. We can only assume Sharma’s non-answer means “yes.”Continue reading “The Tories still plan new anti-strike laws”
TO ADD YOUR NAME, COMPLETE THE GOOGLE FORM HERE. On 3, 6 and 7 July, thousands of Tower Hamlets council workers are striking to stop the council’s “Tower Rewards” plan to sack its entire workforce and re-employ them on worse terms and conditions. This attack on the workers is bad enough. But on 3 JulyContinue reading “Sign the solidarity statement: no to strike-breaking in Tower Hamlets!”
As Tower Hamlets council workers begin a three-day strike to resist mass sackings, reports are coming in suggesting bosses from the Labour-run council have called the police on one of the picket lines. This disgraceful action seems to have been a response to bin workers in Unite refusing to cross the Unison picket line, anContinue reading “Police called on striking Tower Hamlets workers?”
Free Our Unions is encouraging supporters who are members of the Labour Party to vote for this submission to its Policy Forum. Please share the link in your local Labour Party and union networks. https://www.policyforum.labour.org.uk/commissions/repeal-all-anti-union-laws Although successive Labour Party conferences have passed policy calling for the repeal of all anti-union laws, Labour leadership figures routinelyContinue reading “Labour Party members: vote for this policy submission!”
Council workers in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets will strike on the 3, 6, and 7 July. They are fighting to stop the Labour-run council sacking its workforce and re-engaging them on worse terms and conditions. At an earlier stage of the dispute, the council had sought an injunction against one of theContinue reading “Tower Hamlets council workers to strike against sackings”
Supporters of Free Our Unions active in the Labour Party and in Labour-affiliated unions have been promoting the below text as the basis for a submission to Labour’s ongoing Policy Forum policy submission process. We encourage anyone who wants to see Labour take a strong stand against all anti-union legislation to adapt and use ourContinue reading “Labour Party Policy Forum proposal: repeal all anti-union laws”
Education workers at Goldsmiths university in south London have launched a marking boycott, as part of a fight to resist job cuts. Workers in the Associate Lecturer and Graduate Trainee Tutor roles launched the boycott, and have since been joined by fixed-term teaching staff. Their action has been taken “unofficially”, in confrontation with the anti-unionContinue reading “Support Goldsmiths workers’ action”
As protests continue in the USA and worldwide against racism and police brutality, we are beginning to see organised labour take action as part of the movement. During protests in Minneapolis and New York, members of transport workers’ unions refused to drive buses for arrestee transport. On 9 June, members of the International Longshore andContinue reading “Solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter strikers!”
We’ve uploaded a new version of our recent video, produced by supporter and RMT activist Janine Booth, with a new soundtrack: Billy Bragg’s ‘There Is Power In A Union’, used with permission from the man himself! Thanks for the music, Billy. Please share the video widely!