2017 Labour Conference agreed policy to repeal Britain’s anti-trade union laws and introduce strong legal rights to organise, collectively bargain and strike. Pavilion Labour has decided to highlight this policy because, with sustained opposition from employers, the Tories, the right-wing press and others, there is a danger it may not be carried out by the next Labour government.
Brighton Pavilion Labour Party believes that trade union freedom is a crucial issue for the whole labour movement. With the possibility of a Corbyn-led Labour government soon, we need to build the strongest possible support to ensure these demands are implemented.
Consequently, we are asking other Labour Parties and Labour’s affiliates to add their endorsement to the statement below. Signatures will be added to this blog to show organisations that have signed. We are also asking our members to help in promoting this statement. As socialists and trades unionists we stand together!
We need the right to organise and strike – free our unions
We are campaigning to abolish the anti-trade union laws which hamstring workers organising and taking industrial action, and replace them with strong legal rights.
We applaud the unanimous decision by the 2017 Labour Party conference to call for repeal of not just the 2016 Trade Union Act but also the “anti-union laws introduced in the 1980s and 90s” by the Thatcher and Major Tory governments and kept in place after 1997; and for a “strong legal charter of workers’ rights”. “For unions to be effective workers need an effective right to strike”. This builds on the 2015 conference decision, also unanimous, that the next Labour government should “legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action”.
We will campaign to ensure:
- Complete repeal of all the anti-union laws introduced after 1979.
- Strong legal rights for workers to join, belong to and recruit others to a union; strike by a process, at a time and for demands of their own choosing, including in solidarity with other workers and for broader social and political goals; and picket freely.
- Strong legal rights for unions to access workplaces, win recognition and engage in collective bargaining, including sector-wide bargaining.
- The right of unions to determine their own structures, rules and processes, decide their own policies and activities, and spend their funds as they choose, free from state and employer interference, in line with ILO Conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights.