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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."

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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?


Comment

Three decades of 'reform' and 'flexibility'

Stop the mental health service cuts


 

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Related links:

Anti-union laws:

trianglePostal workers deliver massive strike vote

triangleWorkers to reballot for strike action

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: 1972 - How the Tory anti-union laws were defeated

triangleDefend the right to strike

triangleNottingham Socialist Party: Kill the Bills - how do we make the anti-union laws unworkable?

RMT:

triangleFight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleTories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

Strike:

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

Alex Gordon:

triangleThe role of the RMT in changing Labour

triangleLancaster public meeting: a century of war

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