Thursday 20 May 2010

Jeremy Dear: 'Unofficial strikes can stuff the law'

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear in a letter to the Guardian today suggests that unofficial strikes may be the only option left to unions and enable them to say "stuff the law".
He says: "It is a disgrace that strike action at Johnston Press had to be called off after the company was able to get a court injunction claiming that none of the 560-plus journalists work for it, but for its subsidiaries – despite the fact they have Johnston Press stamped on their payslips.
"Trade unionists hoped Thatcher's anti-union laws would be scrapped by Labour...This assault on workers' fundamental rights to withdraw their labour is an issue for the entire union movement.
"One way to beat the law is for a union to strike in defiance of any judgment. We saw how successful "unofficial" strikes can be when Shell tanker drivers and Lindsey Oil construction workers walked out. Sooner or later a union somewhere will take a stand and say stuff the law. With cuts on the agenda from the Con Dem coalition, now is the time to fightback."
The letter is also signed by Pete Murrary, President of the NUJ; Eamonn McCann, Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions; Julia Armstrong MoC, Sheffield Star; and Phil Turner FoC, Rotherham Advertiser.

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