GMB pledges to defeat new strike-breaking laws!

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RMT pickets last week – the new Tory anti-union laws are being rushed in to outlaw effective strike action

‘Butt Out!’ the GMB union told the Tory government yesterday, after it overturned a Welsh law on Monday night banning the use of agency strike-breakers during public sector strikes.

The move followed last week’s announcement by the Tories that they are rushing through new anti-union laws allowing employers to use ‘agency staff’ as strike-breakers and to fine public sector unions £1 million if they fail to provide a ‘minimum level of service’ during a strike.

The Welsh government denounced the Tory Westminster move on Monday, saying it will ‘resist’ attempts to undermine legislation passed by the Senedd.

The Tory government said last week that it is lifting the ban on agency workers being used to break strikes across the UK and on Monday moved to overturn the law passed by the Senedd, five years ago, to make sure the ban disappears in Wales too.

Welsh Labour ministers passed the Trade Union Wales Act in 2017, hailing it as a way to protect the rights of unions in devolved public sectors, such as health, education and councils.

The act, which stops the use of agency workers during strike action in those services, also applies to the rail company Transport for Wales, which is wholly owned by the Welsh Government.

The GMB pledged to fight the UK government’s anti-union plans yesterday.

‘Let’s be clear on this, the UK government has no right to get involved here – they are overstepping the mark,’ said Tom Hoyles, the GMB’s political officer for Wales.

‘Their vindictive trade union bill was overturned in Wales six years ago.

‘This is a clear attempt to create division and divert attention away from their internal party chaos and failure to tackle the cost of living crisis. They should butt out.’

A Welsh government spokesman said: ‘Imposing tighter restrictions on trade unions and further reducing the rights of people at work is counter-productive and against everything we stand for in Wales.’