CWU issues grave warning to trade unionists amid general election fight
TORIES will seek to “finish off” the trade union movement if they are reelected in June, the Communication Workers Union conference heard yesterday.
The union’s acting leader Tony Kearns characterised the upcoming general election as “the fight of our lives” and urged the labour movement to “take back control” of British politics.
He said the Conservative Party would not be satisfied with last year’s Trade Union Act, imposing thresholds on strike ballots among a raft of curbs on working-class rights.
“If the Tory Party gets a majority for another five years, they’re coming to finish us off,” he told the conference.
The union is expected to endorse a motion today warning of a “grave danger of further restrictions on the ability to organise and conduct industrial action.”
A back-bench Tory Bill to effectively ban transport strikes amid the Southern Rail dispute was defeated in the Commons in January.
But trade unionists have previously warned that the proposal, pioneered by Croydon South MP Chris Philp, was an “outrider” move to reduce the shock impact of banning strikes if a more serious attempt is made.
Redeploying the classic Brexit slogan, Mr Kearns said: “It is time for us to take back control — of our National Health Service, of care for our elderly, of an education for our children and for jobs and wages that allow people to live with dignity.
“It’s about taking control away from big business which is bleeding us dry.
“When they tell you all politicians are the same, don’t believe them.
“Because Theresa May wants an election without scrutiny. That’s not democracy, that’s autocracy.”