YESTERDAY the RMT rail workers trade union warned that an all-out assault on workers’ rights was taking place as BA used the Network Rail v RMT ruling to try to get the judiciary to declare today’s BA cabin crew strikes illegal.
Central to this assault is the new Tory-led coalition. Its Transport Secretary Hammond has immediately compared the BA cabin crew to the London dockers of the 1960s, and predicted that they would end up the same way – redundant.
He has intervened to give support to Walsh who is determined to smash the unions at Heathrow.
The RMT warned that the employers, encouraged by the Cameron government, are using the courts to outlaw strike action in key sectors of the economy, ‘undermining the ability of workers to fight back against the looming £50 billion public spending cuts and riding roughshod over the basic human right to withdraw your labour’.
The RMT also attacked the totally ludicrous claim that its members were not informed of the result of the Network Rail strike ballot, which resulted in judges declaring that strike to be illegal. The RMT added that the same stunt was being used to get the cabin crew strikes declared illegal.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: ‘It’s complete rubbish that RMT didn’t convey the result of the signallers strike ballot to our members. The result was texted immediately to our members within the 140 characters limit with directions to go to the union’s website where the full ballot result was available. The result was also sent to all the media and was plastered all over the rolling TV news and the papers – we hardly kept it a secret.
‘We warned after the judgement that it bent the anti-trade union laws even further in favour of the employers and so it has proved. There is no doubt that this new ConDem government want to effectively outlaw strikes in publicly used services before they swing the axe at our hospitals, schools and fire stations, and the courts are the battering ram to make that happen.’
Now the same tactic is being used against the BA cabin crew members of the Unite trade union.
The ludicrous claim is being made that the union has not properly informed the cabin crew of the result of the ballot for strike action, when there is hardly a person in the country that does not know that cabin crew are taking strike action.
Meanwhile, the Tories have announced that their emergency budget, which will contain the most savage cuts of living standards ever seen in the UK, will be unveiled on June 22, just over one month away.
Unison, the public sector trade union, yesterday, hit out at plans to sack thousands of NHS workers, amid reports that £2 billion was being put aside to pay for mass redundancies and mass redeployments in the NHS.
Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said: ‘Despite promises that the Tories would protect the NHS, just days after the party forms a government, it earmarks a huge pot of money to sack staff.’
It is pretty clear that the working class must be mobilised to defend its jobs, wages and its right to strike. Without the latter it will be hard put to defend itself against the Coalition savages and their cuts.
The judiciary yesterday ruled that the cabin crew strike is illegal, despite the fact that the vote for strike action was won by a huge majority.
Once again it is not only the right to strike which is at stake. Without it there can be no real defence against the Tory coalition’s plans to smash living standards and cut the Welfare State to pieces, all to pay for the crisis of the bosses and bankers’ capitalist system.
We give our complete support to the strike action of the cabin crew.
We further urge the Unite trade union leaders to call out the entire union in defence of the right to strike and the right to defend living standards.
Further, we urge that the TUC General Council meets at once and calls a general strike in support of the cabin crew, in defence of the right to strike and to bring down the Tory-led coalition that is seeking to return the working class to the hungry 30s.
The coalition must be brought down and a workers government put in that will bring in socialism. This is what must be done. There is no other way.