Socialist Worker

Tories attack right to strike and bring in sack threat

Issue No. 2235

David Cameron wants to make it harder for workers to strike. Last week he raised the threat of hardening up anti‑union laws even further.

The last Tory government brought in the anti-union laws, including ballots, to put obstacles in the way of workers fighting back.

At present, if a majority of workers vote to take action in a ballot, strikes should still be able to go ahead.

The CBI bosses’ group wants this changed so that 40 percent of union members must vote for a strike overall before it can take place.

The last few years have seen the right to strike eroded by employers taking unions to court for minor ballot errors.

But Cameron and the Tories want to go further.

He said at prime minister’s question time, “I am happy to look at this argument… I do not want to see a wave of irresponsible strikes, not least when they are not supported by a majority.”

Meanwhile Cameron is also proposing an “employers’ charter”, which will mean that workers can only raise an unfair dismissal claim after they have been employed for two years.

This sackers’ charter will also reduce the amount of time statutory sick pay will be paid out and bring in charges for employment tribunals.

This makes it all the more vital that the unions organise now to challenge the Tories.

The TUC has called a meeting of its 55 affiliated unions for Friday of next week to discuss co-ordinating industrial action against the government’s cuts programme.

Delegates at the meeting will also talk about how to mobilise for the TUC’s national demonstration on Saturday 26 March.

Union leaders are hesitant about calling the co-ordinated action we need to stop the Tories.

But rank and file activists have to step up the pressure on them by building for a mass demonstration on 26 March—and a general strike.


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Tue 18 Jan 2011, 18:01 GMT
Issue No. 2235
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