Socialist Worker

Scrap the Trade Union Bill - join the TUC's week of action

Activists are preparing for the TUC’s week of action against the Trade Union Bill, reports Raymie Kiernan

Issue No. 2489

Workers on a TUC march against Tory austerity in 2011

Workers on a TUC march against Tory austerity in 2011 (Pic: Geoff Dexter)


Workers will stage strikes and protests during the TUC’s week of action against the Tories' Trade Union Bill next week.

The week is aimed at raising awareness about the government’s attack on the right to strike.

But workers are also using the week of action as a focus for disputes over pay and cuts.

In Lambeth and Bromley in south London library workers were set to strike against cuts and privatisation on the first day of the week of action.

The TUC’s week of action coincides with the bill’s committee stage in the House of Lords.

The bill aims to make it harder for workers to strike. It would bring in a requirement for a 50 percent turnout for strike ballots in “important public sector services”.

Currently workers can strike if they win a simple majority in a ballot.

The bill would also impose more bureaucratic hoops for trade unionists taking action to jump through.

Many workplaces plan to take part in the Big Workplace Meeting on Tuesday of next week.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady will broadcast a live video link up. In Portsmouth, council workers plan to join the video link and leaflet about the new anti-union laws the next day.

Rally

In Sheffield the trades council has organised a lunchtime rally for the day of action on Thursday of next week. It is also organising an evening meeting that day.

The TUC is encouraging protests and walkouts on the day.

Workers at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) in central London plan a rally of all unions on the campus.

Sandy Nicol, the Unison union branch secretary there, said they had written to the Soas director about the week of action.

He said, “We’ve asked them to make a statement against the Trade Union Bill to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

“We’ve also asked them to respond to us and said the length of our walkout will depend on how they respond.”

Ameen Hadi, a Salford City Unison rep, “We have our branch AGM on the day of the Big Workplace Meeting, and we’ve invited a junior doctor to come and speak.

“On the Thursday we’ve organised a lunchtime event with films and discussion backed by all three council unions. Young fast food workers from Glasgow are coming to present their film project Serving Up Change and talk about the importance of building unions.

“Labour councillors are invited to speak and put on record their view of the bill. Some could be standing for mayor in the future.

“And we’re also showing an anti-racist film and will be arguing to mobilise for the 19 March Stand Up to Racism demo.”

Workers spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity

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