SHADOW Deputy PM Angela Rayner told the TUC Conference in Liverpool yesterday that a Labour government will overturn the Tory anti-strikes Minimum Service Levels (MSL) Act ‘within 100 days’.
Rayner said: ‘The next Labour government will ask Parliament to repeal these anti-trade union laws within our first 100 days.’
She pledged ‘a full investigation into the violent events at Orgreave’ and ‘a review into and release of the official documents relating to the Cammell Laird prosecutions.’
She said: ‘We will give trade unions a new legal, reasonable right to access workplaces,’ adding: ‘We will also simplify the statutory recognition process to ensure that gig economy and remote workers can meaningfully organise through trade unions.
‘And we’ll level up the rules to allow trade unions to use secure and private electronic balloting when engaging, communicating with and polling their members, including for workplace ballots.’
She listed: ‘Day one basic rights. A ban on zero hours contracts. An end to fire and rehire. Family friendly working. Strengthened sick pay making it available to all workers including the lowest earners.’
Following Rayner’s speech, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘The country clearly would be better off with a Labour government. There is no doubt. That said, as the General Secretary of Unite, my job is to fight for workers and ensure Labour commits to making the lives of working people better.
‘As with all things, the devil will be in the detail and the words on the page. There can be no backtracking on the agreed workers’ rights. Britain is hurting and Labour needs to be bold.’
On Monday, TUC Congress delegates voted unanimously for Composite Motion 1 Campaign against the Minimum Service Levels (MSL) legislation.
The motion states: ‘Congress agrees that we have no choice but to build mass opposition to the MSL laws, up to and including a strategy of non-compliance and non-cooperation to make them unworkable, including industrial action.’
Mover NASUWT General Secretary Patrick Roach said: ‘This is a government that uses immoral and illegal means to attack workers.
‘After 13 years of failure they are a government of law breakers. This strikes bill is one of the most egregious, pernicious, vindictive attacks on working people.’
Seconder RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘For 40 years we’ve had these laws. We need to cleave to the content of this motion, that means non-cooperation. It will apply to every sector. If we don’t stop them they are going to take it further.
‘It tells trade unions to instruct their members and reps to cross picket lines. We’ll not do that. Non-compliance and non-cooperation. Meek compliance of this is the road to oblivion.
‘The Tolpuddle Martyrs and the Miners Strike are remembered because they fought back. Let’s see the TUC lead the fight back and it’s got to start straight away.’