Trade unions

Workers' self-defence starts with getting unionised at work. This section includes material on the trade union struggles and issues I am involved in and/or urge you to support!

To fight for disabled rights, scrap all anti-union laws!

Right to Strike

This is Janine's speech seconding the motion on the Trade Union Act at TUC Disabled Workers' Conference 2019. The motion was passed unanimously.

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RMT welcomes PCS’ motion and its focus on electronic balloting. Our amendment extends this discussion to the rest of the Trade Union Act and to the rest of the anti-union laws.

Under UK law, we can not take lawful industrial action except in so-called ‘trade disputes’:

Recommend Acceptance

white flag

Every year we send our tribunes
to knock upon the golden door
and take our just demands there with them - 
place our claim, our case for more

The masters let them ask and close
their eyes and sigh that times are tough -
They can't afford to share with those
who made their wealth; there's not enough

Performance Review

Tick cross

It's our annual meet
to judge how you've conformed
So please take a seat
- how have you performed?

Your targets aren't SMART
and it's really a shame
That you didn't take part
in our team-building game

Your goals are alright
but you soon come a-cropper
You're quite impolite
to our mystery shopper

1919: Strikes, Struggles and Soviets

1919 pamphlet cover

A new short book (40 pages + cover), written by Janine Booth and published by Workers' Liberty.

In 1919, inspired by the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, British workers took more strike action than ever before. But communists in Britain had still not formed a united party. Labour's representation in Parliament was weak.

We Had To Let Them Go

Ever wondered why only 16% of autistic adults have a full-time job?

He worked alone, not a team player
Not a keeper or a stayer
Didn’t fit in, not really our sort
Talked about boring stuff not sport
We had to let him go

Guest post: Autistic Workers and Trade Unions

by PCS rep, Helen Sheridan

Never give a trade unionist a platform if you want to get away on time. I hope you're all sitting comfortably. For anyone who cares about these things, my name is Helen Sheridan and I am a trade union representative with the Public and Commercial Services Union. I have served on the Executive Committee for my branch for almost ten years, as well as on various sub-committees within the branch. I'm also Autistic.

As you've probably noticed, awareness of neurodiversity has increased dramatically over the past few years, with high profile campaigns from groups like the National Autistic Society, increased representation in film and television, such as The A Word, and the rise of social media giving a platform to Autistic people themselves. Self Advocacy groups have gained more control over the conversation being had about Autism and are steering it to the areas that matter to Autistic people.

Scrap All the Anti-Union Laws

Pamphlet cover: scrap all anti-union laws

Janine has co-written (with Sacha Ismail and Simon Hannah) this pamphlet for the Clarion magazine, giving a thorough but readable explanation of Britain's anti-union laws and calling on Labour to carry out its policy to scrap them all.

Just two pounds per copy, from here.

Stop Sexual Harassment and Assault on Public Transport

In July, I spoke at an event organised by Islington Labour Party women’s forum, called ‘Keeping women and girls safe in Islington’. There were various speakers from community organisations, the council and the police, plus workshops on domestic abuse, sexual harassment, hate crime, gangs and bullying. My job was to speak about harassment and violence against women on public transport.

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