I am appalled to hear that the Tories in their 2015 General Election manifesto plan to put further obstacles in the way of trade union members taking legal industrial action.
They need reminding that in the past they opposed women and many working men’s right to vote in parliamentary elections. They lost those battles but they have taken every opportunity since to stop the rights of British workers.
Their new proposals which demand that ballots should achieve a turnout of at least 50 per cent of the workforce might sound reasonable, but they conveniently overlook the fact trade unions already work hard to get a high response.
If the Tories believe this is so important why don’t they simply change the law to allow voting at the workplace and on the internet and telephone? This would surely achieve far higher turnouts than the present outdated postal-only voting system. Obviously, they don’t want that because the Tories have never supported workers who want to stand up for themselves against the bosses of big business who have always funded the Conservative party.
The fact is they will never recognise the right to strike whatever the turnout or the size of the majority.
The recently held Tolpuddle Martyrs festival reminds us of the sacrifice made by six farmworkers back in 1834 who were sent to Australia to stop them campaigning against low pay and for the crime of forming a union.
Now 180 years on workers live under a shadow of a new Tory threat to a basic human right to withdraw our labour without penalty except the loss of pay.
This right should and must continue until the end of time. Every worker in the land must oppose these Conservative hypocritical bigots.