Socialist Worker

Defy the bosses' anti-union laws

Issue No. 2189

The bosses were attempting to use the courts to prevent workers defending their conditions yet again as Socialist Worker went to press.

Some 50 workers in the Unite union at Milford Haven port were set to strike on Thursday and Friday of this week to defend their pension rights.

The workers are pilots and launch crews at the Pembrokeshire port.

Ships of a certain size must be guided in and out of the port by the pilots, who board the ships out at sea, aided by the launch crews.

Without them, no commercial ship can enter or leave the port.

Managers are challenging the legality of the ballot.

This has become the favourite tactic of the bosses to deal with strikes.

The same manoeuvre has been used against the BA cabin crew, rail, bus, postal and tube workers.

The anti-union laws were designed to hamper unions’ ability to resist—and to give union leaders a way of persuading their members not to strike.

When Labour was elected in 1997 the party had a policy of repealing the anti-union laws.

But 13 years on the laws are applied ever more stringently against workers.

Legal challenges to ballots are accelerating.

The anti-union laws fly in the face of the democratic decisions of workers.

The only way to win is for unions to refuse to back down in the face of injunctions and threats—and strike regardless.

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Article information

Tue 16 Feb 2010, 18:13 GMT
Issue No. 2189
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