Don’t Cross Picket Lines On June 30Th!


MEMBERS of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), National Union of Teachers (NUT), Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and University and College Union (UCU) will be taking strike action on June 30th in defence of their jobs, their pensions and the public services.

Unite, the biggest trade union in the country, has many members in the local government pension scheme, the NHS and Civil Service schemes and the University and teachers’ pension schemes.

Unite has yet to ballot its members on these questions and chose not to ballot at the same time as the other trade unions.

In its circular to its members the Unite union leaders state: ‘All expressions of support should be undertaken outside of work hours to protect the individual member from any false suggestion that he or she is involved in secondary action.’

Unite is instructing its members to cross picket lines, and go into work out of fear that the Tory-led coalition will use the anti-union laws against the union!

Further, Unite adds that: ‘Demonstrations should take place in non-work hours to avoid any mistaken suggestion that these amount to secondary action.’

After telling its members to cross picket lines, the Unite leadership has the cheek to state: ‘Please ensure that we do all we can to make the industrial action organised by our colleagues on June 30th a great success. It is very much part of our fight.’

Central to the Unite leadership’s effort to ‘do all to make the industrial action . . . a great success’ is its position that ‘Unfortunately, until such time as UK workers are protected by the same democratic rights provided to others across Europe to make individual expressions of solidarity and support, attending a place of work and then refusing to cross a picket line could amount to unauthorised industrial action and could place those members at risk of disciplinary action, even dismissal, and/or deductions from pay. It is important that our members understand these risks and feel able to explain such risks as and when they are approached by anyone on a picket line.

‘If members approach any picket line they should advise the pickets that support is given to the dispute by Unite but as they have not been balloted for industrial action themselves they will not be able to join the strike.’

The circular also deals with the issue of threats from trade unionists, stating: ‘If members approach or are approached by pickets and on assessing the situation feel insecure, threatened in any way or indeed believe that their presence or continued operation in the area could endanger either themselves or others, they have the right to remove themselves from the situation. If it is believed that this is the only available course of action members should leave the area and contact their employer for further guidance. If contact cannot be made with their employer and they are not at their place of work they should return to their place of work, unless advised otherwise.’

If you feel ‘threatened’ by pickets then contact your employer, who will no doubt contact the police who will come down and arrest them.

It is not possible to crawl much lower than this!

Presumably when the Tories ban strike actions by the public sector for the duration of the economic crisis as they are threatening to do, Unite’s leaders will get down on their knees before the law and the coalition like good slaves, and pledge eternal allegiance to the master class.

Unite’s membership must give these crawlers the treatment that they deserve – the sack!

Unite’s membership must not cross picket lines on June 30th. They must defy the anti-union laws, since such defiance is the key to taking actions that will ensure that jobs, wages and pensions are successfully defended.

If any Unite members are victimised, the entire trade union movement must stop until they are returned to their jobs. This is the way forward.