Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Go on strike, get a police record

Over in the UK, the government is carrying out an unprecedented attack on employment and union rights in an effort to return things to their C19th utopia. They've already changed legislation to make it almost impossible for unions to legally strike. And now, just in case anyone manages to jump through their hoops, they want to force striking workers to wear armbands and give their names to police as well:

Every worker wanting to join a strike picket could be forced to identify themselves to police, carry a letter of authorisation and wear an armband, under proposed reforms to trade union laws that could be in breach of international agreements, human rights groups have warned.

To point out the obvious: having to give your name to the police if you want to stand up for your rights in the workplace means that that name will go on a police database - and no doubt be shared with a private employer blacklist (something for which no police or spies have ever been prosecuted, BTW). And of course it will show up on all future police checks - effectively turning the police into a blacklist. It is specifically intended to intimidate people out of strike action, keep them cowed and "in their place".

And that's modern Britain: where the 1% crush and exploit everyone else, and use their control of the state to silence opposition. But as the C19th showed, making strikes illegal doesn't stop them - it just means they happen illegally and with more violence and sabotage. That's the world the Tories are taking the UK back to. I hope they enjoy it.