For obvious reasons, the Conservative government is trying to make it harder for employees to take industrial action. It wants, amongst other things:
* higher thresholds for union ballots than for other organisations or for politicians' elections
* ridiculous periods of notice prior to any action
* restrictions on time off for trade union activity, most of which is done voluntarily and in addition to representatives' existing work in any case.
* obstacles making it harder to collect subscriptions
* restrictions making picket lines less effective.
All of these will make our ability at Aston to protect and improve working conditions more difficult. Recently we have we have been very active in blocking forced redundancies and damaging restructuring. This is against a hostile political backdrop and all our members should try to resist any policies that make our activities more difficult. You can help by:
* raising the issue with your local MP using our online form here
* attending the TUC protest outside the Conservative party conference in Manchester on 4 October, more information here
* lobbying your Westminster MP on 2 November (email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the lobby).
The recent labour leadership election shows that there is an appetite for change in the labour movement and the ability to bring it about by collective action. Lets keep this going in our own branch by each individual member contributing to its activities and showing support, if only by coming to the AGM and other meetings. We need you more than ever.