Saturday, February 04, 2023

Newham Labour Unions - the Right to Strike


Picture collage from meeting on Thursday evening at St Lukes, Canning Town. This is the second meeting in Newham of Labour Party supporters who are trade union activists. Our launch was here Unmesh Desai and myself both chaired. Some key supporters were unable to attend due to clashes. 

The focus of the meeting was opposing the Tory attempts to get rid of the basic human right to take strike action. 

Our main speaker was Michael Gavan, from the NEU union, who explained the threat but was also able to give an update on the previous day's strike action in Schools across Newham. The bill (which should be called the "sacking of nurses and teachers" Act) has passed the House of Commons but has yet to go to the House of Lords. Since it is not a Government manifesto commitment, the Lords can cause problems. But we cannot rely on the Lords or even legal challenges, we must campaign as a movement to defeat it. 

Rohit Das Gupta also gave an update on UCU industrial action and I gave one on the UNISON London Ambulance. strikes (next strike is 10 Feb).

There was also a thoughtful and constructive discussion about next steps and agreed to consider a number of proposals such as a Labour union stall outside Stratford station on the "Right to Strike", possibly combined to celebrate "Love Unions" week 13-19 Feb;WhatsApp Broadcast Group on dates and times of Newham pickets lines and protests; Supporting local strike action by CWU; writing articles for Labour movement media on what we are trying to achieve in Newham and supporting the Workers Memorial Day Event in Stratford on 28 April. 

We are hoping to arrange monthly meetings from now on rotating from West Ham to East Ham. All Newham Labour Party supporters and trade union activists welcome. 

Hat tip photos Shantu

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