UCU Congress takes strong stance against anti-union laws

The recent congress of the University and College Union, held online from 1-3 June, passed a resolution committing the union to a strong stance, and campaigning, against anti-union laws.

The motion was proposed by the UCU branch at Birkbeck, which recently voted to support Free Our Unions, as well as UCU University of Brighton (Moulsecoomb), with friendly amendments from UCU University of Brighton (Grand Parade) and UCU Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee.

The text of the motion is below.

Campaign to repeal ALL anti-trade union laws 

Congress notes:

1. the impact of anti-union laws inhibiting our and other workers’ recent struggles

2. the threat of new ‘minimum service’ legislation during transport strikes (which could be extended to other sectors)

3. 2019 Congress policy reiterating opposition to ALL anti-trade union laws

4. that TUC Congress and Labour conference voted to campaign to repeal all anti-union laws and their replacement with positive workers’ rights, including strong rights to strike and picket. However, this has remained on paper.

Congress believes:

a. the Tories anti-trade union laws are designed to prevent workers taking effective industrial action

b. despite the ballot thresholds UCU have been able to launch UK-wide action

c. the development of GTVO strategies and the use of disaggregated ballots have enabled branches to take on our employers.

d. P&O’s blatant disregard of employment law raises the question of why workers should obey anti-union laws.

Congress resolves:

i. to start campaigning, actively and vocally, for the repeal of and resistance to ALL anti-union laws and for a strong right to strike, including by: producing a leaflet; organising a week of action; organising an activists’ day school; and a joint union conference

ii. that UCU initiate an inter-union forum on strategies to combat the anti-union laws

iii. to stand in solidarity with RMT, which has pledged to defy any ‘minimum service requirement’, and to support their campaigns against this legislation

iv. to act in solidarity with P&O workers and other workers subject to unfair labour processes, supporting boycotts and demonstrations. UCU calls on its members and on universities and colleges to boycott P&O Ferries.

v. to call on the Labour Party to commit to abolishing all anti-trade union legislation when elected, and to enacting legislation to outlaw zero hours contracts, ‘fire and rehire’ and other unfair labour practices.

vi. to support all workers who defy anti-union legislation.

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