branch motion on trade union law

We need free unions

we support the abolition of the anti-trade union laws, which stop workers organising and taking action, and their replacement with strong legal workers’ rights. Otherwise we are fighting the challenges of low pay, insecurity and lack of rights with our hands tied behind our backs. We applaud the 2017 Labour Party conference’s unanimous call for repeal of not just the 2016 Trade Union Act, but also the “anti-union laws introduced in the 1980s and 90s” by the Tories and maintained after 1997; and for a “strong legal charter of workers’ rights”. “For unions to be effective workers need an effective right to strike”. This builds on the unanimous 2015 decision that the next Labour government should “legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action”. 

We agree to renew our commitment to

• Complete and speedy repeal of all anti-union laws.

• Strong legal rights for workers to join, recruit to and be represented by a union; strike/take industrial action by a process, at a time and for demands of their own choosing, including in solidarity with any other workers and for broader social and political goals; and picket freely.

• The right to reinstatement for workers found to have been sacked unfairly. A complete ban on dismissal for industrial action, however long it lasts. Full rights from day one of a job.

• Strong rights for unions to access workplaces, win recognition, and establish collective bargaining, including sector-wide bargaining.

• Unions’ right to decide their own policies and activities, determine their own structures and rules, and spend their funds as they choose, free from state and employer interference, in line with ILO Conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights.