TRADES councils voted unanimously to throw their weight behind public-sector union PCS in supporting a series of motions recognising the extent of government attacks on the union.
The councils’ 2015 conference delegates were urged to show solidarity with PCS, which faces cuts to facility time, the removal of check-off, which allows for membership fees to be taken directly from wages, and union-busting which has seen a scab union set up in HM Revenue and Customs to undermine and weaken PCS.
Barnet Trades Council secretary Austin Harney, a PCS member, told of the difficulties of organising in the Ministry of Justice and urged unions to support their struggle, saying: “It is us today but could be all of us tomorrow.”
Merseyside TUC delegate Ross Quinn said that it was like the 1980s, with the government intent on “destroying a strong union.”
He went on to say that “one word describes our movement — solidarity — and we will stand together with PCS.”
Greater London Associations of Trade Union Councils delegate Raj Gill said that the Tories were attempting to “destroy the trade union movement.”
Delegates also voted overwhelmingly for an emergency motion supporting PCS National Gallery rep Candy Udwin, who was sacked amid the gallery staff’s campaign against job outsourcing.
PCS believes it was an attempt to intimidate members and undermine the union.
Conference resolved to organise solidarity collections for National Gallery strikers and called on the TUC to mobilise in support of the campaign and fight against austerity and union-busting.