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!”

Has picketing been banned in the new lockdown?

In November 2020, Unite pursued a legal challenge over the right to picket during lockdown, after a picket of bus workers was broken up by police. That challenge was successful, clearly establishing the right to picket in lockdown. Exception 22 of the “Coronavirus: The Health Protection (Coronavius, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020” clearly statesContinue reading “Has picketing been banned in the new lockdown?”

A Trade Union Freedom Bill in Stormont: interview with Gerry Carroll MLA

Gerry Carroll is Northern Ireland Assembly Member (MLA) for Belfast West, and a member of People Before Profit (PBP). He spoke to Free Our Unions about PBP’s “Trade Union Freedom Bill”, which aims to reform legislation in the north of Ireland to make it easier for workers to organise and take action. For more infoContinue reading “A Trade Union Freedom Bill in Stormont: interview with Gerry Carroll MLA”

UK union observers attend US trade union convention as it passes historic general strike resolution

By Daniel Randall, Assistant Chair, RMT Bakerloo branch Reposted from the RMT London Calling website Three activists from the RMT Bakerloo branch attended, via Zoom, the Saturday 21 November convention of the Vermont State Labour Council (AFL-CIO) as observers. The convention was attended by nearly 100 delegates and guests, from local union branches and campaign groups, asContinue reading “UK union observers attend US trade union convention as it passes historic general strike resolution”

The Democrats, Labour, and “secondary boycotts”

Keir Starmer has praised Joe Biden and urged Labour to learn from the Democrats’ victory in the US presidential election. Starmer should learn from the proposals on workers’ rights the Democrats made. The Democratic Party platform promised to “prioritize passing the PRO Act and restoring workers’ rights, including the right to launch secondary boycotts”. The US termContinue reading “The Democrats, Labour, and “secondary boycotts””

Oppose union busting at the Crick Institute: defend Cetin Avsar!

Security guard and union activist Cetin Avsar has been threatened with dismissal by his employer, Wilson James Ltd., who said in a letter that his opposition to outsourcing, and role in leading a strike for direct employment in his previous workplace, St. George’s University of south London, represent a “conflict of interest”. Cetin is currentlyContinue reading “Oppose union busting at the Crick Institute: defend Cetin Avsar!”

Government concedes right to picket during lockdown

Following a Unite legal challenge, the government has conceded the right to picket during lockdown. We repost the following from the Unite website: The government has been forced to confirm that workers taking lawful industrial action have a right to picket their workplace during the Covid-19 lockdown. In doing so they have vetoed the actionsContinue reading “Government concedes right to picket during lockdown”

Defend the right to picket during lockdown!

Free Our Unions opposes any attempt to use lockdown as a pretext for further restricting workers’ rights to organise and take action. Protests and pickets can be conducted safely, in appropriately distanced conditions. We support Unite’s judicial review, undertaken in defence of the right to picket, following police obstruction of a bus factory workers’ picketContinue reading “Defend the right to picket during lockdown!”

Northern Ireland Assembly Member proposes “Trade Union Freedom Bill”

Gerry Carroll, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, has tabled a private member’s bill proposing the abolition of all Thatcher-era anti-union and anti-strike laws. The power to alter these laws is devolved to the Stormont Assembly. This is the first time any MLA has proposed amending them. Although many Free Our Unions supporters areContinue reading “Northern Ireland Assembly Member proposes “Trade Union Freedom Bill””

US trade unionists discuss strikes to stop a Trump coup

In both the US and the UK, political strikes are illegal. Nevertheless, US trade unionists are discussing the possibility of strikes to oppose attempts by far-right president Donald Trump to sabotage the upcoming election. We republish an interview with David Van Deusen, president of the Vermont State Labour Council, the local organisation of the AFL-CIO,Continue reading “US trade unionists discuss strikes to stop a Trump coup”