Friday, August 01, 2008

Prison Officers Propose Strikes For Trade Union Freedom

The Prison Officers' Association has submitted an excellent resolution on trade union freedom to this year's TUC Congress. Marking a change from the annual charade of passing a resolution denouncing the anti-union laws but doing little concrete about it, the POA proposes a series of one-day general strikes to demand trade union freedom.

No doubt, the TUC bureaucracy will bring megatonnes of pressure to bear on the POA to withdraw the final paragraph. Let's hope they are tough enough to resist. And should anyone fear that such strikes would be illegal, just stop and ask yourself ... Who exactly is going to lock us all up?!

P05 Trade union freedom

Congress recognises the level of work carried out by the General Council in an attempt to progress the Congress resolutions that called for a more modern, fair and appropriate approach to trades union rights in our country.

Further, Congress places on record its appreciation to all those academic lawyers and MPs who sought to take the Trade Union Freedom Bill through the Parliamentary process, but expresses its disbelief at the Labour Government which choose to talk the Bill out of time, in order to ensure that the Bill fell. This act of “political sabotage” is unworthy of any Government, but particularly a Labour Government.

Congress recognises that the actions of the TUC and affiliated unions have had no success to date in persuading the Government to amend legislation to return the fundamental rights of all workers. In fact, Government has taken even more draconian legislative action to stifle trade unions.

Therefore, Congress instructs the TUC to organise a series of one-day general strikes until such time as the Government removes the restrictive anti-trade union legislation from statute.

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