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The Tories, trade unions and British democracy under threat

18th July 2015

The Tories, trade unions and British democracy under threat

Letter to the Guardian 18.07.15

The anti-union proposals by Tory business secretary Sajid Javid (Tories launch biggest crackdown on trade unions for 30 years, 15 July) are more savage than even many activists were expecting. The arbitrary ballot thresholds,
criminalisation of picketing, re-ballots every four months, employers free to break strikes with agency labour, limits on facility time and attacks on union political funds are about breaking our ability to operate effectively. The Tories are out to fundamentally shift the balance of power towards government and employers. Under the coalition workers suffered the longest squeeze on living standards for generations.

This legislation signals that government wants to remove what it believes to be the biggest barrier to further attacks. These moves are anti-democratic, undermine our basic right to organise and show, just as in Greece, the lengths the rich and powerful will go to make ordinary people pay the price of austerity. Our movement needs to mobilise as never before to oppose these laws. We call on trade unionists and anti-austerity campaigners to go all out to build for the demonstration called by the TUC at the Tory party conference on 4 October and to back further protests organised as the anti-union legislation goes through parliament.

We will not allow these laws to pass unchallenged or allow a Tory government to use the legal system and the power of the state to undermine our ability to defend working people.

Michelle Stanistreet General secretary, NUJ, Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS, Ronnie Draper General secretary, BFAWU, Ian Lawrence General secretary, Napo, Jane Aitchison and Sean Vernell Joint secretaries, Unite the Resistance,Kevin Courtney Deputy general secretary, NUT, Liz Lawrence President, UCU, , Ian Hodson National President, BFAWU, Peter Pinkney President, RMT, Sandra White MSP

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