High Court denies Omagh Meat workers the right to strike

The democratic right of workers in the North to take strike action was dealt a real blow in October after the High Court granted an injunction against workers at Omagh Meats from going on strike. The injunction was issued against the Unite union after the owners of Omagh Meats, Foyle Food Group (FFG) submitted a request at 8pm the night before the strike was due to begin.

The High Court ordered FFG to pay the court costs – a paltry figure compared to the money they stood to lose as a result of the threatened industrial action.
150 workers balloted in favour of taking industrial action after rejecting a 1.5% pay offer from management – an insulting offer when you consider the company made £2.4 million in profits last year. In response to the court ruling Unite proceeded to re-ballot members at Omagh Meats for strike action which forced another pay offer from management and was accepted by Unite members.
More and more the courts are being used by bosses to outlaw strike action. Even when workers have jumped through the many hoops contained in the anti-trade union laws, the courts are still denying workers the fundamental right to strike. Recently, BA workers, train drivers and BT workers have all been served with injunctions for the most irrelevant and non-consequential of reasons.
With major public sector cuts and more attacks on pay and conditions fast approaching, workers who find themselves having no choice but to resort to strike action will come up against the anti-trade union laws and the courts. After 13 years of Labour Party government, the Tories anti-union laws were left untouched. The Socialist Party does not support a casual, light-minded defiance of these laws which would threaten the assets of the unions etc. But the trade unions must prepare now to defy the anti-union laws at a certain point, just as postal workers in Belfast’s Tomb St depot did in 2006 and the Lindsey oil refinery workers did in 2009. These militant unofficial strikes showed that such repressive laws can be made unenforceable in the face of mass strike action.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Housing bosses on + £100,000 salary

Next Article

Suicide crisis a symptom of “a hopeless situation”

Related Posts

Bloody Sunday Saville Inquiry – Innocent protesters murdered by the British Army

Role of army chiefs and Establishment in killings and cover-up remains unanswered

The publication of the Report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, more commonly known as the Saville Inquiry, has brought to light, once again, the murderous and brutal lengths the British capitalist state is prepared to go to defend its interests. The Saville Inquiry, which cost nearly £200 million and lasted 12 years, has officially confirmed what everyone has known all along - that those who were murdered by the British Army on Bloody Sunday were innocent.

Greece – Millions take part in general strike against proposed austerity package

Step up the action - link up all sections of workers and youth!

Greece’s 24 February general strike was comprehensive, covering the whole of the public and private sectors of the economy. It was the second general strike in two weeks, preceded by a general strike of the public sector workers on 10 February, also characterized by massive participation and big rallies. The general strike, last Wednesday, involved around two and a half million workers and paralysed society, particularly the main cities, Athens and Salonica, where nothing moved. Transport, shipping, public services and the service sector where all effected. There were no flights in or out of the country. There was no media on 24 February or newspapers on 25 February due to strike action by journalists and other workers in the industry.

Week of ‘Protest and Solidarity’ held across Europe

Make ETUC 29 September "Day of action" decisive workers’ mobilisation

Following the call by sixteen MEPs from European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament, and initiated by Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland), protests and activities took place in many countries across Europe last week. Although mostly modest in size, the breadth of these actions actively point in the direction of what is needed - mass European-wide protest and industrial action to resist the attacks of governments and bosses across the continent.

Young people didn’t cause the crisis

The blatant way in which young people were singled out as easy targets in the recent budget was a draconian and discriminatory attack by the government.

The question they faced was clear- from which group in society could they take the most and expect the least backlash? The young unemployed- the most isolated, unorganised, inexperienced and therefore vulnerable group in society were an obvious choice.