Prison officers union wants general strikes for workers’ rights

Over at stroppyblog, Janine informs us that the Prison Officers’ Association have submitted a resolution to the TUC Congress calling for a series of one day general strikes until the government repeals the Tory anti-union laws:

P05 Trade union freedom

Congress recognises the level of work carried out by the General Council in an attempt to progress the Congress resolutions that called for a more modern, fair and appropriate approach to trades union rights in our country.

Further, Congress places on record its appreciation to all those academic lawyers and MPs who sought to take the Trade Union Freedom Bill through the Parliamentary process, but expresses its disbelief at the Labour Government which choose to talk the Bill out of time, in order to ensure that the Bill fell. This act of “political sabotage” is unworthy of any Government, but particularly a Labour Government.

Congress recognises that the actions of the TUC and affiliated unions have had no success to date in persuading the Government to amend legislation to return the fundamental rights of all workers. In fact, Government has taken even more draconian legislative action to stifle trade unions.

Therefore, Congress instructs the TUC to organise a series of one-day general strikes until such time as the Government removes the restrictive anti-trade union legislation from statute.

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The butcher’s apron and the bus pass

While reflecting upon the centenary of the old age pension, it was pointed out to me by a senior citizen of my acquaintance that citizens over the age of sixty can now travel for free on England’s buses.

The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme has been welcomed by millions of pensioners and is a rare progressive policy by New Labour administration – though since pensioners are most likely to vote, it’s likely to be a cynical move.

Note that the cards feature the St George’s Cross and the red rose symbol of England:

The Labour party would be advised to drop Brown’s Britishness agenda as well as Brown himself (because he’s a useless Tory, not because he’s Scottish) – if there’s one issue the Conservative and Unionist party are weak on, it’s the position of England in the UK.

The ENCTS is a modest social-democratic policy, but it’s exactly the kind of inclusive Englishness needed to fight the fascist BNP and embarrass Cameron’s New Tories.

Government ministers are considering a windfall tax on the energy giants, with the monies going to help people struggling to pay the soaring bills – which is a pretty radical policy for Thatcherite New Labour. While they’re feeling open-minded, let’s hope they consider giving us an English parliament to go with the bus passes…