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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 implications of the Police Bill for workers and unions

By Professor Gregor Gall, Visiting Professor of Industrial Relations, University of Leeds Though there are many different aspects to the 2021 Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Government has made it clear that those parts pertaining to public order result from its desire to clamp down on Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Black Lives MatterContinue reading “The implications of the Police Bill for workers and unions”

‘Solidarity at Work: The Case for Free Trade Unions’: a pamphlet from Thames Central CWU branch, 1997

Free Our Unions is proud to recirculate this pamphlet, written by Communication Workers Union (CWU) activists Maria Exall and Paul Moore, and published by the Thames Central branch of the CWU in 1997. The arguments within it still have resonance today, and give historical context for ongoing debates about how the labour movement should approachContinue reading “‘Solidarity at Work: The Case for Free Trade Unions’: a pamphlet from Thames Central CWU branch, 1997”

“Workers have never been gifted anything. We’ve protested and won.”

This is a speech given by Fire Brigades Union National Officer and Free Our Unions activist Riccardo la Torre at the 2021 May Day protest in Southend in Essex. A transcript of the speech is below the video. I’m Riccardo la Torre from the Fire Brigades Union, bringing May Day solidarity to all of you. It’s fantastic,Continue reading ““Workers have never been gifted anything. We’ve protested and won.””

Does a “New Deal for Workers” mean scrapping the Tories’ anti-union laws?

By Sacha Ismail On 1 May a “May Day manifesto” by John Hendy and Keith Ewing was published in the Morning Star, under the headline “A New Deal for Workers”. (Read it in text format here.) A New Deal for Workers is a slogan that has been used by the TUC and various unions, particularlyContinue reading “Does a “New Deal for Workers” mean scrapping the Tories’ anti-union laws?”

Online meeting, Tuesday 18 May, 6:30pm: Disabled people for free trade unions

Tuesday 18 May, 6:30pm Log in via Zoom here. Britain’s anti-trade-union legislation makes it harder for unions to fight for the rights of disabled workers and disabled people more generally. They require unions to follow inaccessible voting procedures. They put hurdles in the way of striking for disabled people’s rights. They restrict unions’ campaigning onContinue reading “Online meeting, Tuesday 18 May, 6:30pm: Disabled people for free trade unions”

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”