Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Friday, April 15, 2011

A modest victory for trade union rights

It's worth buying today's Morning Star for a concise summary of the main points of the court decision in the case of RMT v Serco (available online in full at about which I have blogged before (

This case has loosened the legal shackles around our unions somewhat, in part by clarifying that, in describing which workers are covered by a dispute, we need not use particular descriptions chosen by the employer.

This doesn't though mean that we don't still have to offer a description, nor that we don't have to ensure the maximum accuracy of membership records if we are to minimise the chance of legal challenges frustrating democratic decisions to take action.

I hope that every UNISON member reading this is already aware of the steps being taken in your branch to check and verify the details of our membership records. Now more than ever we need to prepare for action.

Individual members can also now update our details online ( in order to help the union get to a position where we can take action.

Of course, since it is our human right collectively to withdraw our labour we shouldn't have to be jumping through all these hoops, which is one reason why UNISON branches should prioritise and support Conference motion 80 "Defend Trade Union Rights" from the Havering branch.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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