A TUC union federation demonstration in May against the anti-strike law (Picture: Guy Smallman)

The Tories anti-strike bill is now law—but workers must be ready to resist it. The Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Act will force workers to scab on their own strikes. The law restricts the industrial action workers can carry out by setting a limit on how much of a service must still be provided.

It means one in five workers will have the right to strike taken away. The law also threatens trade unionists with the sack if they don’t follow bosses’ demands. And it hits unions with fines for resistance. Workers will be affected on the railways, in education and in ambulance, fire and rescue services.

The law was purposefully designed to stop the type of fightback that has been seen across Britain for the last year. The Tories want to make out that striking is not in the public’s best interest—and that being on strike risks the health and safety of ordinary people.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. For instance, ambulance strikers provided a skeleton service when they walked out in January. And those on strike aren’t somehow separate from the general population—it’s in workers’ best interests to strike.

But the unions did not do enough to resist the bill. The TUC union federation’s handful of protests weren’t the revolt needed to stop the law. Now workers have to be ready to defy anti-union laws—and defy union leaders too if required. 

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