LABOUR’S shadow minster for trade unions sent “solidarity and support” to Morning Star workers yesterday as they staged a brief political strike against the Tories’ Trade Union Act.
Journalists and admin workers briefly walked out after a workplace meeting in open defiance of the draconian new law. Ian Lavery branded the Act “an absolutely unnecessary attack on the democratic rights of workers” in a message of support to the strikers.
“It is further evidence, as if it were needed, of the utter contempt this government have for ordinary working people,” he said.
And speaking from the Fire Brigades Union annual conference in Blackpool, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “I stand with the journalists and other staff at the Morning Star in this gesture of defiance against the Trade Union Act.
“The Act represents a savage attack on working people and their rights, and will inevitably lead workers to come into conflict with the law.”
James Rodie, father of the NUJ chapel at the paper, pointed out that the Act had received royal assent on the 90th anniversary of the General Strike, with the decision to walk out taken nine days later to mark the end of the British labour movement’s 1926 struggle in defence of the miners.
He said: “We know that our small act of defiance today will hardly shake the government or force it to jettison its Act, but we want to send a clear message to the wider trade union movement that wherever workers are forced to break the law, we at the Morning Star will stand full-square behind them.”