“Every union member is under attack from these new laws. We must defend the right to strike.”
By the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
The TUC has organised a protest on Monday 22 May, when the Strikes Bill returns to the House of Commons for the final vote.
The Strikes Bill, if passed, will impact on the ability of trade unions to effectively fight to improve pay, terms and conditions, particularly in ‘key’ areas of industry, such as the NHS, transport and border control, by imposing legal, minimum staffing levels in these key areas.
For PCS, it may impact our ability to call out all members working for the Home Office, for example, at sea and airports, despite having a legal mandate to do so under the current legislation.
The Bill has already suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords, which has voted to amend it in four areas, including:
- Removing the power of employers to sack key workers taking part in legal strike action,
- Removing the power to make trade unions force their members to cross picket lines on strike days,
- Exempting the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales from the Bill,
- Forcing the government to consult on and publish impact assessments before implementing the new law.
The TUC has called an emergency protest outside parliament on Monday 22 May and is inviting trade union activists and supporters from across the movement to take part. The protest will take place at 6:00pm in Parliament Square.
The protest will be addressed by striking workers and union leaders from across the movement, and will demand that MPs:
- Vote to reject the whole Bill;
- Failing that, vote to uphold the four Lords amendments;
- Pledge to repeal the Bill if it passes and they form the next government.
It’s not too late to contact your MP, asking them to oppose the Bill when it comes to the vote. You can email your MP quickly and easily via the TUC website.
Every union member is under attack from these new laws. We must defend the right to strike.
- You can find more details about the TUC defend the right to strike emergency protest, taking place outside of parliament at 6pm, Monday 22nd May, here.
- You can can follow the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.
- This article was originally published by the PCS Union on May 16th, 2023.