[2023] Motion 03 Opposing the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress notes that not content with their complete betrayal of workers following the P&O scandal the Tory government’s Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill now represents the biggest attack on trade union rights and values since the 1900 Taff Vale judgement against one of RMT’s predecessors, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, which ruled unions could be sued and compelled to pay for damages for the impact of their strike action.

The new Bill compels unions to instruct members to comply with work notices to cross picket lines. Members not complying can be dismissed and unions not complying lose their immunity from prosecution.

Congress notes the Bill gives the government sweeping powers to extend minimum service levels across the economy, curtailing the ability of every trade union to protect their members during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and beyond, indeed the International Labour Organization has criticised the legislation as a threat to the fundamental rights of workers in Britain.

Congress agrees we must use all means necessary to defeat this unjust law and calls on the General Council to proactively seek to:
i. legally challenge the legislation
ii. coordinate demands from affiliates that employers, devolved governments, and local authorities do not issue work notices
iii. hold a national march opposing the legislation and calling for repeal of the anti- union laws
iv. organise a special Congress, size to be determined, to explore options for non- compliance and resistance
v. mobilise support for any affiliate seeking assistance, whose union and members are sanctioned for non-compliance.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers


› Add new paragraph 4:
“Conference notes that in June, a tripartite ILO Committee told the government to bring the strikes law and other labour law into line with the UK’s obligations, consulting with social partners, and to report back by 1 September 2023.”
› Add new third bullet in final paragraph:
“campaign alongside others defending the fundamental rights of working people”.
National Education Union