Right to Strike is a branch-based labour movement campaign to resist the introduction of new anti-trade union legislation by the Conservative government.
The Tories want to impose grossly undemocratic turnout thresholds on ballots for industrial action. Unions will need a 50%vturnout for strikes to be legal and, in addition to this, 40% of the entire eligible balloted workforce will need to vote “Yes” in core services. This will affect workers including NHS staff, firefighters, teachers, and transport workers. There is barely a national strike in recent years that would have been legal under these rules. There are also whispers of legalising the use of agency staff to break strikes (illegal since the 1970s) and placing further restrictions on legal picketing.
They also propose to introduce an opt-in rule for political funds. This will not just affect Labour Party funding but will affect any political activity a union chooses to engage with.
As well as this, we can expect further attacks on facility time and moves to end deduction from salary, or “check off,” dues payments.
We propose an energetic campaign across the trade union movement to safeguard our rights. We intend to make the case that trade union rights are democratic rights. No other voluntary organisation in society faces as much legal intereference in their internal affairs as we do in the trade unions. The right to withdraw one’s labour is a hallmark of a free society.
We urge the TUC and its affiliated unions to call a national demonstration against the proposed new law as a first step in this campaign.
We believe this law can be defeated if the movement acts quickly and decisively. Defeating it would be the first step in recovering the trade union rights which have been taken from us in recent decades.