Government plans for unions are ‘a strikebreaker’s charter’

Government plans to restrict trade union rights are “a strikebreaker’s charter” which would undermine the basic civil rights of working people, general secretary Dave Prentis told the union’s national executive council (NEC) in London today.

“This is a real attack on people’s basic human rights,” he said. “And this from the party which is trying to rebrand itself as the workers’ party.”

Referring to proposals to introduce even tougher thresholds for people working in education, health and transport sectors, he asked: “What is the real threat to our country posed by our dinner ladies and teaching assistants that would justify this draconian action?”

He pledged that UNISON would work with other trade unions but also with community groups and other civil liberties campaigns in the broadest-based alliance to fight the proposals.

The campaign will build towards a national demonstration in Manchester during Conservative Party Conference on 4 October and a mass lobby of Parliament on 2 November.

“Our salvation is our own strength,” Mr Prentis said. “We can’t wait around for a change of government.”

The NEC agreed a timescale and full procedures for a general secretary election in 2015.  More information on timescales and the procedures for nominations will be circulated to activists on Tuesday 4 August.

The NEC also agreed to:

  • Send a message of support and pledged all necessary resources to Max Watson, NEC member, who has been targeted for compulsory redundancy at London Metropolitan University.
  • Send support to John Burgess, UNISON Barnet branch secretary whose car was vandalised outside his home during a recent strike day.
  • Send congratulations to Glasgow City UNISON branch on the successful resolution of the 17-week Glasgow homelessness caseworkers strike.
  • Put forward three motions to the TUC on the topics of the budget and austerity, housing and English devolution.

The newly-allocated NEC committees elected chairs and vice chairs.