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 Police Bill, unions, and strikes (Online briefing, 6:30pm Tuesday 27 April)

An online briefing for trade unionists. Log in via Zoom here. The Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill poses a grave threat to the freedom to protest and dissent. Free Our Unions is hosting this online briefing for trade unionists, delivered by Professor Gregor Gall, labour movement academic and activist. Attendees will be briefed on:Continue reading “The Police Bill, unions, and strikes (Online briefing, 6:30pm Tuesday 27 April)”

Striking for the climate? Free Our Unions public meeting, Tuesday 13 April, 6:30pm

TUESDAY 13 APRIL, 6:30PMLOG IN VIA ZOOM HERE. Facebook event here. Our window to stop and reverse worsening climate catastrophe is narrowing. To defeat climate change, we need to radical action from governments, and, ultimately, a change in how our economies are organised. To achieve that, workers need to take action. But in the UK,Continue reading “Striking for the climate? Free Our Unions public meeting, Tuesday 13 April, 6:30pm”

Composite motion for Momentum policy primary

UPDATE: The Momentum policy primary is now open. For more info, including on how to vote, click here. Free Our Unions, the Fire Brigades Union, and two local Momentum groups (Brent and Southampton) submitted similar motions to the “policy primary” Momentum is currently running to determine which motions it will encourage supporters to submit toContinue reading “Composite motion for Momentum policy primary”

How anti-union laws harm the fight for disabled people’s rights

By Janine Booth, Secretary, RMT Disabled Members’ Advisory Committee Britain’s anti-trade-union legislation makes it harder for unions to fight for the rights of disabled workers and disabled people more generally. How? Limiting issues on which unions may lawfully take action Trade unions may take lawful industrial action only in pursuit of ‘bona fide trade disputes’.Continue reading “How anti-union laws harm the fight for disabled people’s rights”

Know your enemy!

A discussion paper written by right-wing lobbyist Nicholas Finney arguing for further restrictions on strikes, and discussing how these restrictions could work, has been uploaded to the Academia website. Although the paper is undated, and appears to be unfinished, it has clearly been written in the last few years, since the imposition of the 2016Continue reading “Know your enemy!”

Support Myanmar’s workers, striking for democracy

Free Our Unions salutes the struggle of workers in Myanmar for their rights and for democracy, and calls on the British labour movement to step up to support their fight. We note and urge others to note the central role being played there by a political general strike against the military coup and for democracy, the “Civil Disobedience Movement”.Continue reading “Support Myanmar’s workers, striking for democracy”

A letter to the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs

Dear comrades, We’re writing in response to your recent pamphlet Winning the Future: Socialist Responses to the Coronavirus Crisis. Well done on producing it – it’s a contribution to the urgent task of raising the labour movement’s ambitiousness and confidence in difficult times. In the spirit of your call for the pamphlet to be “widelyContinue reading “A letter to the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs”

Free Our Unions public meeting, Tuesday 2 March, 6:30pm

CONFRONTING ANTI-UNION LAWS Tuesday 2 March, 6:30pm-8pm Log in via Zoom here. How have recent and ongoing workers’ struggles confronted restrictive anti-strike and anti-union legislation, and what effect would it have on those struggles if those restrictions were removed? We’ll hear from speakers involved in disputes and campaigns about how they’ve dealt with these issues,Continue reading “Free Our Unions public meeting, Tuesday 2 March, 6:30pm”

Overturn Shrewsbury convictions – and scrap today’s anti-strike laws!

The Free Our Unions campaign sends its full support to the trade unionists currently pursuing a Court of Appeal case to overturn their 1972 convictions for their role in a construction workers’ strike over pay and health and safety issues. The appellants are the 14 surviving members of the “Shrewsbury 24”. One of the long-runningContinue reading “Overturn Shrewsbury convictions – and scrap today’s anti-strike laws!”

Labour Unions

Labour Unions consultation

Labour Unions, the network of trade unions which affiliate to the Labour Party, is conducting a consultation on its future campaigning, and is inviting trade unionists to make suggestions for campaigns. Free Our Unions encourages supporters, particularly those in Labour-affiliated unions (although members of non-affiliated unions can also participate), to respond to the consultation, andContinue reading “Labour Unions consultation”

Enact TUC policy!

For the past two years, TUC Congress has passed radical policy on the anti-union laws. The 2019 policy stated: “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 solidarityContinue reading “Enact TUC policy!”

Labour policy on the anti-union laws: build back better!

By Sacha Ismail At a recent meeting organised by the Labour Representation Committee, I asked speaker Laura Pidcock, former shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights, about Labour’s policy on the right to strike during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. I asked why, in terms of scrapping anti-strike laws, the party generally limited itself to repealing theContinue reading “Labour policy on the anti-union laws: build back better!”