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BFAWU Conference 2024 BFAWU Conference condemns anti-strike laws

THE Tory government’s latest anti-strike legislation is a “bullying counter-revolutionary response to keep us in our place,” food workers charged today. 

BFAWU delegates meeting for their annual conference unanimously passed a motion which slammed the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 as an attempt to remove working people’s “God-given right” to strike.

The widely condemned law, which was enacted last July, gives employers and even ministers the right to sack workers who refuse to provide a dictated minimum service level across key industries during walkouts.

Any worker refusing to comply faces the sack, and their union could be crippled by massive fines. 

Workers, unions and even some bosses have slammed the draconian move, which followed the biggest strike wave to sweep Britain since the 1980s, as unworkable, stressing it will only inflame and prolong industrial disputes.

Addressing BFAWU members in Stone, Staffordshire, delegate Mark Hilton said: “It’s every worker’s fundamental right to show opposition in a peaceful way by withdrawing your labour.

“Don’t think this legislation has been enacted to stop strikes happening, because they know they’re going to happen. It’s specifically been designed to get unions into court and make it financially unreasonable for them to continue. 

“It’s a bullying act, the intent is clear.”

Michael Blundred, from the union’s executive council, added: “This is a counter-revolutionary response to keep us in our place. 

“People like the nurses, the junior doctors, [rail union] Aslef, [transport union] RMT; they’re standing up for their rights and going out on strike.

“This legislation is being used to beat us, to keep us in work and doing what we’re told. We need to repeal all of this anti-union legislation.”

Unions have promised to hold Labour accountable if it fails to follow through on its promise to repeal the Act should the party win power at the July 4 general election.

Delegate Andy Moorhouse blasted the “stupid, one-sided” legislation, adding: “Rail companies have already breached the minimum levels of service that will be imposed on striking unions.

“Their own breakdowns and incompetence have gone below the minimum service levels that the government has set for unions. And nothing’s happened.

“Why aren’t they getting fined? Why aren’t their executives in court?”

And, to rapturous applause, delegate Shaun Molloy asked: “What’s the point of being here if we’re not going to oppose this?”

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