Labour Research June 2016


Industrial action will have to be ‘smarter’

The fact that the Trade Union Act doesn’t contain quite as many “spiteful” anti-union measures as first proposed (see pages 7 and 25) betrays the lack of support for it beyond a clique around prime minister David Cameron, said Roger McKenzie, assistant general secretary of the UNISON pubic services union addressing last month’s Labour Research Department annual general meeting.

McKenzie nevertheless urged trade unionists not to stop campaigning and mobilising members. He said that with higher ballot thresholds, industrial action will have to be “smarter” and more local in future, actively building trade unionism. 

He added that even before the general election there was clear opposition within the Tory party itself to ideas subsequently included in the Bill. The campaign against it had help from Tory, Labour and SNP MPs. The devolved administrations were firm that the legislation wouldn’t apply and it was hard to find any employer organisations up for these “draconian” changes.