Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lobbying against anti-union laws

By a New Worker correspondent

Trade unionists lobbied Parliament last week to persuade MPs to back a Private Members bill that would prevent employers from using technicalities to block industrial action.
John McDonnell MP has introduced the Bill to prevent employers blocking the democratic wishes of trade union members who have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action. Employers constantly challenge democratic union ballots on minor technical grounds which would have had no affect on the outcome of the ballot. Bosses organisations, and the Mayor of London, are now calling for a complete twisting of the basic rules of democracy to tighten the noose even further around workers necks.
John McDonnell’s Bill is already gaining broad support and to progress to its next stage 100 MPs need to attend Parliament for its Second Reading on Friday 22nd October. McDonnell, the chair of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), is also the Parliamentary Group convenor for the RMT transport union. RMT General Secretary Bob Crow has thrown his weight behind the campaign saying: “We know that there has been a new push from the bosses’ organisations, the Mayor of London and other Tory politicians since the election to try and get the Government to load the law on industrial action even further in their favour. We also know that the Thatcherites driving the ConDem administration are ideologically anti-union.
“With the cuts battle set to intensify this autumn there is no doubt that the Government and the employers will see the anti-union laws as an important weapon in trying to choke off workplace resistance to attacks on jobs and services.
“Now is the time for the trade union movement to rally round and defend the basic right to strike and the right to defend jobs, standards of living and public services. John McDonnell’s Private Members Bill is the focal point for the union fight back against the anti-union laws.”

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