TUC backs campaign of non-compliance with new anti-strike laws

The Trade Union Congress (TUC), which brings together 5.5 million workers in 48 trade unions across the UK economy, has today adopted a motion committing it to a strategy of resistance against the new anti-union laws.

The Minimum Service Levels Act passed into law into law in July. Under it, employers in fire and rescue, health, education, transport, nuclear decommissioning, and border security will be able to require named workers to work on strike days – despite a democratic vote for strike action.

The motion states: “We have no choice but to build mass opposition to the MSLs laws, up to and including a strategy of non-compliance and non-cooperation to make them unworkable, including industrial action.”

A link to the full text is below. It passed overwhelmingly.

Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack, who is expected to be elected as TUC President on Wednesday, said:  

“The passing of this motion today is a message of defiance to the government – the trade union movement will defend itself against these draconian new laws. The TUC is now committed to a policy of resistance to the Minimum Service Levels Act, up to and including non-compliance.

“This government’s nasty, authoritarian agenda will be vigorously opposed by the trade union movement. Undermining the right to strike is an attack on the wages and living standards of working people. These are the actions of a regime that has no mandate for its policies.

“We will now go about building a campaign that can beat the anti-union laws. The trade union movement has defied anti-strike laws in the past and won, and it must be prepared to do so again.”

Speaking to TUC Congress, he added:

“We welcome the pledge from Labour that they will repeal this within 100 days of taking office, but we need to demand of Labour that there is no backsliding. The strongest message we can send is to say, unanimously, following this conference, that we will smash and defeat this legislation, and not allow it to be introduced.”