11 August 2015
The Tories know that if they are to force through five more years of austerity, they have to take out their biggest potential source of opposition—the trade union movement.
That’s why they want new and brutal anti-union laws. But we can fight and win.
We’ve already seen hundreds of thousands on the streets against austerity since the election. The TUC has called for a further mass protest at the Tory conference in Manchester on 4 October, and the People’s Assembly is calling events from 3-7 October.
The success of coordinated strikes on London Underground and the solidarity for local strikes show why the Tories fear that the anti-austerity mood could spill into the workplaces.
The trade union movement needs to go all out to oppose anti-union laws. We need a big turnout on the TUC protest at parliament on 2 November.
But there also needs to be a debate now about our response if these new laws are passed.
Will our unions be prepared to break them before they are used to break our ability to resist?
There are questions we urgently need to answer:
How do we stop the assault on wages and conditions at work?
What is the strategy to build the unions, rebuild organisation where it has been in retreat and grow into new sectors?
Can we fight attempts to divide our side such as the scapegoating of migrant workers, claimants and disabled people? How do we win a new generation of young workers to the trade unions?
And with Jeremy Corbyn dominating the Labour leadership contest, and the rise of anti-austerity parties in Europe, we need a debate about the political representation working class people need.
Saturday 14th November, 11am to 5pm
Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Ave, London, WC2H 8EP
Speakers so far include
John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor
Candy Udwin PCS National Gallery strike
Natalie Bennett Green Party leader
Matt Wrack FBU General Secretary
John Hendy QC
Steve Gillen POA General Secretary
Kevin Courtney NUT Deputy General Secretary
Ian Hodson BFAWU Bakers’ union National President
Zita Holbourne PCS National Executive & BARAC
Keith Ewing Institute of Employment Rights National President
Dave Smith Blacklist Support Group Secretary & Author of Blacklisted
Ewa Jasiewicz Unite London Hotel Workers’ branch activist
Lee Jasper Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC)
Sarah Wooley BFAWU Bakers’ union National Executive & Greggs worker
Max Watson Unison London Met striker & victimised union rep
Roger Hutt Doncaster Unison Care UK ’90 Days’ strike
John Burgess Barnet Unison activist
Greek trade union activists