Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/655/11045
From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2011
RMT leader slams anti-union laws
Alex Gordon, president of the RMT transport union, explained to delegates at the recent National Shop Stewards Committee how the anti-union laws were being used to frustrate industrial action by workers.
"A new judgement in the High Court in London against my union [the RMT] has raised a new obstacle to workers lawfully engaging in collective industrial action. The case of Serco/Docklands Light Railway v RMT has highlighted yet again the inadequacy of the current strike laws and their ability to be 'interpreted' by judges in ways that were inconceivable a few years ago.
This week a judge found that the 'language' used by my union in notifying the employer of strike action was unlawful. In particular he drew attention to the RMT's use of the word "audit" to describe the method by which it had arrived at a true and reliable record of its members on DLR who we called on to take industrial action after a 80% 'Yes' vote.
The judge said that "audit" implied an outside third party overseeing the membership records. Effectively this judgement puts us on the road to some sort of corporate state overseeing of union membership systems.
Even more worryingly the judge agreed to the employers' arguments that the union should allow the employer to have oversight of every single detail of correspondence and email between union representatives and officers that led up to the strike ballot.
The reason these judgements are appearing now is of course entirely connected with the massive fight that looms over public sector cuts."
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 26 January 2011:
Socialist Party youth and students
Fight for jobs and education
Where next for the student movement?
Education Maintenance Allowance days of action 18 and 19 January
No to sky-high youth unemployment!
Socialist Party news and analysis
Warning: Government health 'reforms' can seriously damage your health
Phone hacking and media spin - the murky world of Andy Coulson
Food price hikes fuelling unrest
Fight the Con-Dem 'bosses' charter'
RMT leader slams anti-union laws
Marching against council cuts
Socialist Party workplace news
Hampshire: Battling to defend jobs
Second show of strength by Medirest workers
BA workers vote to fight on
DWP contact centre strike
National Shop Stewards Network
NSSN anti-cuts campaign launched
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference
International socialist news and analysis
Irish government collapses: United Left Alliance offers real alternative
Tunisia: Protesters demand real democracy and social change
50 years ago: Congo's independence leader assassinated
Socialist Party schools features
Tidemill school - victory for parents
Save Our Schools
Bankers' "Free school" excludes poorer pupils
Socialist Party review
Britain's Banks: Too Big to Save?
Three decades of 'reform' and 'flexibility'
Stop the mental health service cuts
The Socialist 26 January 2011 |
Join the Socialist