The Scottish trade union movement, all political parties bar the Tories, many councils, the Scottish Government and much of Scottish society oppose the trade union bill. Today when we lobby the SCottish Parliament, the question of our MSPs is therefore – what are you prepared to do about it?
It is agreed that it is nothing but rank hypocracy of a Tory government whose MPs are elected on 34% of the vote to seek to impose ballot thresholds, stringent strike conditions and a scabs charter on their workforce and also undermine our fundamental human rights to join a trade union.
This attack on the organised working class is an attack on society and today, the call of our movement to our elected parliament is that we and you must do all within our means to oppose, resist and commit to defying the Bill.
A serious yet necessary commitment, as this is a bad and unworkable law. It is also one that undermines the democratic integrity of devolved governance by compelling all public authorities through legislation to effectively declare war on their organised workforce – a move in the opposite direction from the lauded Fair Work agenda of the Scottish Government.
With a Tory majority in Westminster, the reality is the they will likely vote it through, save some minor amendments. Already, they were forced to drop the ridiculous and unworkable social media cull whereby unions would have to tell employers two weeks in advance what they were going to place in social media relating to a strike.
Today we are demanding that the Scottish Government join local authorities across Scotland in defying the bill by declaring ft they will not implement the anti-trade Union conditions on their own workforce.
Most public sector unions are now preparing for a world in which the Tories seek to slash time off for trade union activities and withdraw employer support for from payroll deduction for union dues. PCS however, has been facing these assaults on our union’s existence over the last few years in which the Tories have subjected the civil service as the first line in their class war against our movement. PCS reps have had their facility time eroded and we have seen a systematic withdrawal of check off across UK civil service departments.
In responding to this, PCS resources have been deployed directly at workplace activities and our with our key reps focussed on issues in the workplaces, we have been rebuilding our union from the grassroots, signing members over to direct debit to make sure we are a strong, sustainable, fighting union. Our membership is consolidated and are emerging as a determined, certain workforce, more angry and militant in a world in which union reps nowhave less time with management digging them out of holes and more time on the shop floor dealing with day to day issues our members raise.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka at the STUC rally in Glasogw in August called for opposition, defiance and co-ordinated action, industrial and community in opposition to these attacks on our class. He has called on the movement to get behind workers taking action, and the first strike called after the bill has been passed we should attend the picket line en masse in solidarity and defiance of the draconian and render unworkable the picket line restrictions.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if across the Scottish Public Sector, this bad law was rendered unworkable because no authority sought to break existing partnership arrangements and strike conditions. Laws are only enforceable if applied. This is why the principle of defiance is necessary today