CTUF Press Release – Launch Rally

Thursday 21st March 2013


This weekend, 25 national trade unions will unite to launch a new organisation –THE CAMPAIGN FOR TRADE UNION FREEDOM – which will bring together workers from across all services and industries in both a head-on challenge to those politicians advocating further legal restrictions on union rights and in a mobilisation to roll back the anti-union laws that have attempted to shackle working people in Britain since the 1980’s.

 THE CAMPAIGN FOR TRADE UNION FREEDOM (CTUF) will be launched at a rally this Saturday – 23rd March – at 1.30pm at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London NW1.

 RMT General Secretary Bob Crow, President of the CTUF, said:

“After 30 years of Labour, Tory and Liberal Governments taking the axe to trade union rights, and using mass unemployment as a weapon to shackle working people, the CTUF is about turning the tide and putting the right to take solidarity action back on the agenda.

“The CTUF, already supported by over 200 local trade union organisations, will take our movement onto the front foot against those right-wing politicians agitating for more anti-union laws and will drive the fight to restore the workplace rights already snatched away.”

Ricky Tomlinson, actor and jailed Shrewsbury picket, will be at the CTUF launch and said:

“The Labour movement needs to come together now to campaign for trade union rights.  We need to protect trade union members when they take industrial action, to prevent them from being criminalised by the State. Without rights at work they will continue to imprison trade unionists, just as they did the Shrewsbury Pickets forty years ago.”

Sarah Veale, Head of TUC Equality and Employment Rights Department, said:

“The TUC wants to see a bonfire of the red tape that so often prevents unions from being able to take industrial action when their members have voted for it.”

Len McCluskey, UNITE General Secretary, said:

“For more than three decades our trade union rights have been cut away by successive governments determined to silence the voice of ordinary workers. The result has been a growing gap between rich and poor and a dramatic decline in the wealth that goes into the pockets of working people.

“The right to organise, strike and take solidarity action are fundamental tools needed for working people to attain a fair portion of the wealth they create.  Only by winning back our freedoms can we win a fair settlement for working people. We support this important and timely campaign. “

John Hendy QC, leading advocate for workers’ rights, said:

“As the government slashes and burns everything that makes Britain a civilised country the trade unions have a vital role to play in Britain’s resistance. But legislation has tied them in red tape. The founding of the CTUF marks the next phase in the struggle to restore trade union rights and their freedom to lead the fight for working class people. “

Carolyn Jones, Director of the Institute of Employment Rights, said:

“Without free trade unions, employment rights are almost useless – difficult to protect and increasingly expensive to enforce. Free unions protect and promote fair rights at work.”



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