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 solidarity with any other workers and for broader social and political goals; and picket freely.”
It also agreed to “campaign, and encourage affiliated unions and trades councils to campaign, for the repeal of all anti-union laws which may be given effect by new permissive legislation and their replacement with strong legal rights, including to strike and picket; and for a clear commitment on this from Labour.”
A policy passed at the September 2020 congress urged the TUC to “organise a special conference open to workplace reps and shop stewards on opposing the anti-union laws”, and to “organise a Saturday London demonstration as soon as possible on the demands:
- ‘Stop the Tory anti-union laws.’
- ‘Defend the transport unions.’
- ‘For workers’ unity against the Tories'”.
Despite these radical policies, the TUC has done little to activate them. Pandemic conditions make many forms of collective mass action unviable, but the TUC could organise online events and produce material to fulfil its commitments to step up campaigning against the anti-union laws.
Free Our Unions will be working with supporters in TUC-affiliated unions to press for these policies to be enacted.