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Illegal strike breaking June 21, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This is deeply troubling news on Monday night that, in the face of the rail strikes (strikes which Labour’s MPs will apparently be AWOL from support and solidarity on the front line)…

Boris Johnson has responded to the biggest rail strikes in a generation with plans to break the industrial action by allowing firms to bring in agency staff, a move that unions have decried as unworkable, unsafe and potentially breaking international law.

As 40,000 workers prepared for Tuesday’s strike, the most wide-reaching on the railways in 30 years, Downing Street brought forward changes to enable employers to replace employees with temporary staff.

For an encapsulation of how reactionary this current Tory government is one could hardly expect a better example 

The highly controversial measure would make disputes long and bitter, unions warned on Monday, with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) accusing Johnson of taking a step that “even Margaret Thatcher did not go near”.

But, as ever, where is the surprise? This is a government that trashes its own international agreements, disrupts relationships with allies, and now, as is inevitable, turns its attention inwards. 


Whitehall sources said the drive for the new anti-strike laws was, however, coming from No 10 and the Cabinet Office for political reasons, rather than the business department.


Paul Nowak, the deputy general secretary of the TUC, said: “Laws against bringing in agency workers have been in place since this was outlawed in 1973. Since then, we’ve had successive Conservative governments. Even Margaret Thatcher didn’t go near it, for very good reason. But Boris Johnson has pulled out the playbook.” He said the prime minister appeared to be trying to unite his own side around a conflict with trade unions as “part of Operation Save Big Dog” – the nickname for the effort to shore up his flagging premiership.

This is a direct attack on unions and on workers. The clear intent is to disrupt this strike but, as the Guardian notes, this could disrupt future strikes in other public sector areas where union membership is high. The fact that so many people, including managers in the NHS, have pointed to the undemocratic and counter-productive nature of these plans is probably going to make no difference at all.

But a number of thoughts strike. Firstly, that it is possible for a government to attack basic protections for workers in such a manner, almost on a whim; secondly, that there is as of yet no political response from the Labour Party; thirdly, that Britain continues careering along a path of reaction that many warned it would take during the Brexit referendum process. The current situation and many other examples suggest that that vote opened up a space which some of the most reactionary elements in British politics were able to exploit and continue to do so.


1. mal - June 21, 2022

Inexperienced temps working on the tube trains? Sounds safe…


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