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.
TUC Congress, which was held online again this year from 12-14 September, has passed a composite motion which “resolves to campaign for the repeal of all anti-trade union laws and for the positive legal rights for workers to take action”. The motion was proposed by Unite and seconded by the Fire Brigades Union. The text quoted was submittedContinue reading “TUC Congress reaffirms policy to “repeal all anti-trade union laws””
Get involved in Free Our Unions by joining us at our next open organising meeting, at 6:30pm on 14 September, via Zoom. We’ll be making plans for our next public events, as well as discussing producing new materials and resources. Our organising meetings are open to anyone who supports the aims of our campaign. JoinContinue reading “Get involved in Free Our Unions: organising meeting, 14 September, 6:30pm”
By Free Our Unions supporters in Unite We publish this article in a spirit of a debate and discussion. We welcome responses from other activists. During Unite’s recent general secretary election, Free Our Unions supporters in the union campaigned to raise the issue of the anti-union laws and the right to strike – primarily throughContinue reading “Mobilise Unite against the anti-union laws!”
Empower the Unions workshop at Extinction Rebellion: How Workers Can Fight Climate Change, Friday 27 August, 1pm
Empower the Unions, the new initiative launched by Earth Strike UK and supported by Free Our Unions, is holding a workshop at Extinction Rebellion’s ongoing protests in central London. The workshop, entitled “How Workers Can Fight Climate Change”, will take place on Friday 27 August at 13:00. It is currently scheduled to take place nearContinue reading “Empower the Unions workshop at Extinction Rebellion: How Workers Can Fight Climate Change, Friday 27 August, 1pm”
On Friday 20 August, Free Our Unions co-organiser Daniel Randall addressed the Green Party Trade Union Group’s monthly meeting. A video of Daniel’s presentation, and the subsequent discussion, is below. Scroll down for an edited transcript of Daniel’s opening speech. My name’s Daniel Randall, I’m a railway worker and a rep for the RMT union.Continue reading “VIDEO: Discussing anti-strike laws with the Green Party Trade Union Group”
The Green Party Trade Union Group will host a speaker from Free Our Unions at its monthly members meeting, taking place on Friday 20 August at 6pm. The meeting is open to all members of the Green Party. Register for the meeting here.
Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and Protections, has said “Labour is committed to repealing anti-trade union laws”. This is a welcome commitment; we urge Andy and the Labour Party to go further, and state concretely what this commitment means. Even under Jeremy Corbyn and even at the high point,Continue reading “Andy McDonald MP says: “Labour is committed to repealing anti-union laws”.”
Labour has clear conference policies on repealing ALL the anti-union laws. It should fight for them!
The Labour leadership is making a series of policy announcements about workers’ rights, coming out of the “Workplace Power” review overseen by Deputy Leader Angela Rayner and Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights Andy MacDonald. On Twitter, in response to a question from Momentum, and in an article on LabourList, MacDonald said that “LabourContinue reading “Labour has clear conference policies on repealing ALL the anti-union laws. It should fight for them!”
Picture taken from the Justice for Refuse Workers and Cleansers Facebook pageUnite reports “heavy handed policing” of the strike by refuse workers in Bexley, South East London, over the living wage, pay progression and back pay. Unite’s Ruth Hydon says: “We want to be very clear to the police that their heavy-handed approach to aContinue reading “Support the Bexley refuse workers – rally at Bexley Civic Offices, 21 July, 6pm!”
The Labour Party Women’s Conference, held online in late June, passed a motion demanding: “Repeal all anti- trade union laws and create new rights and freedoms for trade unions to help them win a better deal for working people.” This was part of a composite motion on “women and the economy”, which can be viewedContinue reading “Labour Women’s Conference says: repeal all anti-union laws!”
Free Our Unions is supporting Empower the Unions, a new initiative from Earth Strike UK, a group of anti-capitalist activists in the climate movement. The campaign aims to unite environmental activists and trade unionists to resist laws that prevent unions from fighting for the climate. Check out the Facebook page here. Videos from the onlineContinue reading “Empower the Unions launch videos now online”
Free Our Unions is supporting this statement, launched by activists in the Unite union. If you’re a member of Unite, please sign as an individual and propose support for the statement in your branch.
Join the Free Our Unions campaign and the Fire Brigades Union for a meeting and discussion marking the 150th anniversary of the 1871 Trade Union Act, to draw lessons from the 19th century struggle for our fight against anti-union laws and for free trade unions for today. This meeting has been rearranged from 29 June.Continue reading “Online meeting – 7pm, Tuesday 20 July (REARRANGED) – 1871 and the fight for free trade unions”
Free and active unions have a vital part to play in the just transition to a zero-carbon future. The anti-union and anti-strike legislation designed to suppress union activity is a direct obstacle to a greener world. Earth Strike UK: Empower the Unions is a new initiative by Earth Strike UK, supported by Free Our Unions. Empower theContinue reading “Earth Strike UK: Empower the Unions – online rally, 2pm, Sunday 27 June”
The speeches from our May public meeting are now online. The meeting was co-organised with RMT Disabled Members’ Advisory Committee and Neurodivergent Labour, and featured contributions from: Mario Kyriacou, Tower Hamlets UnisonElane Heffernan, Disabled Members’ Rep, UCU NECJanine Booth, Secretary, RMT Disabled Members’ Advisory CommitteeDavid King, Chair, RMT Disabled Members’ Advisory Committee