ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Noel HowlettSubscribe to Noel Howlett

RANGOON-A Lon Nol in the Making

The draft doesn't say what sort of deal the Tories intend to give the 600,000 unemployed who are not at work. No, the bill is an anti-class charter which prohibits the only means the worker has of acting against being forced to take an unequal share of what he produces, against bad conditions and against victimisation. It calls for the setting up of a Registrar of Unions who would enforce contracts signed by or even imposed upon the individual unions. This would mean that the shop-steward and the man on the shop floor would lose all effective power to call for action. Such a call, by any agency including presumably a journalist, would lead to fines and imprisonment. Shop-stewards and breakaway unions demanding the settl- ing of local issues would not be allowed to register themselves and would automatically be operating outside the law. Sympathy strikes and picketing, so necessary in the case of unions which can't in all conscience have complete strikes (such as nurses and doctors, and, yes, even policemen), would become illegal. Another barb aimed at the unity of the unions is the clause which introduces the *right' of workers not to join the unions. Scabs would be allowed and encouraged to replace striking union workers who would be fined or imprisoned for pro- testing against the taking of their jobs. A sixty day cooling period would be introduced to give the Press time to whip up public opinion against a strike and to allow the employer to look around for alternative sources of supply of labour. Disciplinary action by a union against strike breakers, would also become an offence. The unions would be liable to lines amounting to "all the funds that were available for industrial action''. In other words by interference in its internal workings and seizure of the strike funds of a union, industrial action could be prevented.
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