Socialist Party books and pamphlets

A Strategy To Defeat The Cuts

[Back] [Next]

No to the anti-trade union laws

We have the most repressive anti-trade union laws in Europe, introduced by the last Tory government and maintained by New Labour. However, this is not enough for the ConDems who dream of following the Republican Governor of Wisconsin, in the US and attempting to completely destroy trade union rights.

But the US working class has responded with an enormous movement - of trade unionists and non-organised workers - in defence of workers' rights. On 12 March up to 200,000 marched in Madison, capital of Wisconsin, a state of only 5.6 million people.

In Britain have to be prepared for the likelihood that the courts would be used to sabotage such a strike by finding, for example, something spurious wrong with one or more unions democratic ballot in order to try and stop everyone striking on the same day.

The government is terrified of the prospect of coordinated strike action over pensions, and it is preparing for war - even setting up a 'war quango' to combat strike action.

We must be equally determined

In the face of the government and big businesses determination - we must be equally determined. We need to build a movement so powerful that they think twice about using the anti-union laws and if, they do, the movement is strong enough to sweep them aside.

We are not in favour of taking unnecessary risks with the trade unions' resources and funds. However, such is the severity of the cuts that action is essential.

The oil refinery constructions workers strikes in 2009, and again at Saltend this year show that if a strike is powerful enough it is very difficult to use the anti-union laws against it.

The battle for the right to organise effect trade unions, is an essential part of the struggle to stop the cuts. This must include the right of all workers to join trade unions and to go on strike, including the prison officers, who are currently denied the right to legally strike, and the police, who cannot even form a trade union.

The growing opposition to the cuts, as the reality of them bites, means that any strike against cuts could win enormous support from workers and young people.

In reality, if several public-sector unions defied the anti-trade union laws, in the context of a public sector general strike, and with the other unions promising solidarity action in the case of any legal threats against them, the government would be powerless to stop them and, in the process, the anti-trade union laws would be broken asunder.

[Back] [Next]