Tuesday, 12 May 2015

"First They Came For The Trade Unionists...."

As it was before, so it is again now.

Just four days have passed since the election result was announced and just one day has passed since Cameron has organised his cabinet and already the Tories have shown that they intend to dismantle the rights of the working classes once more.

Sajid Javid, the new Business Secretary, has announced he intends to make ''significant changes'' to the strike laws under the new Conservative government when the Queen's Speech takes place next month. It will be one of the first bills to be put forward and had previously been blocked by the Tories coalition partners, the Lib Dems. As a former Shop Steward myself, this move terrifies and angers me considerably. 

"We need to update our strike laws" he says. "We've never hidden away from the changes we want to make. I think it's essential we make these changes"

The change being that a strike affecting essential public services will require the backing of 40% of eligible union members whereas currently, a strike is valid if the majority of those balloted come out in favour of industrial action.

They will also need 50% turnout minimum in strike ballots and will lift restrictions in place regarding blacklegs and scabs, sorry 'agency workers', to replace those workers on strike. 

"By increasing the thresholds," Javid went on to say "it will certainly increase the hurdles that need to be crossed"

What he means is legal strike action will become nigh on impossible meaning workers will just have to put up with poor and dangerous conditions, low wages and pensions etc and the worst kind of employer will thrive and benefit as a result.

As we saw with Thatcher and the NUM in the '80s, the first action of a Tory government is to attack the working classes and ensure they can no longer unite and organise to fight for their share of the pie.

It's happening again. I'm reminded of Pastor Martin Niemoller's words about the rise of fascism and the holocaust;

"First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me"

Don't be complacent. Don't think this does not effect you because you're not considered left-wing or because you don't belong to a trade union. These actions are made to ensure you have no rights whatsoever and you will wake up one day and find that is the case and all those people who tried to make sure that didn't happen will have been dealt with first.

So support your local unions now. Support people's right to stand up and protest when something isn't fair. 

Because after them, it's your freedom next.

And the abolition of the Human Rights Act, another bill the Tories so desperately want to pass, proves that.


  1. Its certainly dispiriting seeing the new Tory Cabinet sitting smugly around that table - the likes of Jeremy Hunt (I spell it with a C) and that ghastly Chris Grayling who saw nothing wrong in B&B owners wanting to turn away gay couples from their double rooms (as if they checked the marriage licences of straight couples!) - at least that shameless expenses cheat David Laws is out - and Balls, he and his wife Yvette of course maximized their expenses by flipping their houses three times, but of course they were all it.

    1. Its disgusting. I mean you have Grayling like you say as Justice minister...where's the justice for those gay couples eh? And you've Caroline Dinenage who voted against gay marriage as Equalities minister! Equality?! Honest you couldn't make it up as anti-Tory propaganda you really couldn't. Culture Secretary is Josh Whittingdale who is anti-BBC and you've got Boris joking that he's on a 'zero hour contract with the cabinet' when, for many in the country, a zero hour contract really is nothing to laugh about. They stick in your craw that's for sure.