A protest took place outside parliament yesterday at an announcement in the Queens Speech of the government’s intention to introduce minimum service levels for the running of transport during industrial action.
This is essentially an attempt to stop transport workers having the right to withdraw their labour.
The protest which was called by the TUCG (the Trade Union Campaign Group of unions, of which Napo is a member) and the National Shop Stewards Network was addressed by RMT general secretary Mick Cash, who told the protestors his union would not accept the attack on members’ right to withdraw their labour. He said, “We will be kicking off the fightback against their new raft of anti-union laws.”
Many MPs came out of the House to join the protest and speak, including Ian Mearns, Diane Abbott, Richard Burgon and John McDonnell. John pledged that Labour MPs would fight the legislation through parliament, but he said an MP’s role was also on the picket line, the demonstration and the occupation.
Speakers emphasised that the attack on transport workers was the thin end of the wedge. The POA has already lost the right for their members to strike and whole swathes of other trade unionists could be next in line, if the legislation is successful.