Socialist Worker

Protest in Cardiff says no to Tories' Trade Union Bill

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans in Cardiff
Issue No. 2494

Trade unionists on the march in Cardiff last Saturday

Trade unionists on the march in Cardiff last Saturday (Pic: Socialist Worker )

Around 500 people protested against the Tories’ Trade Union Bill in Cardiff last Saturday.

The Trade Union Pride march came after the Welsh Assembly condemned the bill as “draconian” and “unnecessary” last month.

Peter Crews, Unison union regional convenor, told Socialist Worker, “If this bill goes through it will lead to confrontations, whether that’s legal or illegal.

“But it’s no good just calling for confrontations, we’ve got to be prepared now.”

Protesters marched through Cardiff and rallied outside the National Museum, where PCS union members are battling attacks on pay for unsocial hours pay.

The crowd cheered loudly when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged that a Labour government would repeal the bill.

Labour AM Mick Antoniw said, “If the Tories implement the Trade Union Bill in Wales we’ll bring in emergency legislation to disapply it in Wales.” That’s an important commitment.

But Welsh Labour’s main concern is that the bill would disrupt “social partnership” with the union leaders.

Hannah, a National Museum PCS rep, questioned the reality of “social partnership” in their dispute.

She said, “It’s difficult to see how that’s being implemented.”

Union leaders use talk of partnership to avoid confrontation with the Welsh government and argue it will protect workers from Tory attacks.

In reality strikes, not the assembly, will defend workers.

As Keith Harris, a health worker in Unison, said, “We’ve got to keep protesting. And if they come for someone, we’ve got to stand together.”

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