Friday, 27 November 2015

Resolution of the London UCU Retired Members Branch on the Refugees in Calais

Please find below the Resolution of the London Retired Members Branch on the Refugees in Calais
Ian has been good enough to translate it into French and it has been sent to various organisations in France. The French version can be found here...
If you have an opportunity to raise the motion, or any part of it, with any other organisation, that would be most useful.

The London Retired UCU rejects the Government’s present racism about refugees. This is a racism that in sealing the borders of Europe is leading to death on a horrific scale as well as the exploitation of those without papers within the UK and across Europe.

    We recognise that migration is a product of a global system of inequality, war and persecution. Migrants are not the cause of austerity, the housing crisis, job cuts or education cuts. We deplore the Government’s pathetic offer of 20,000 places over 5 years for all refugees. In particular, we deplore the failure of the British Government to open the doors to the refugees in Calais. We offer solidarity to those in the camps in Calais, agree to support the sending of delegations to anti-racist solidarity events in Calais and in the UK and call on the British government to immediately grant the refugees in Calais the right to reside in the UK. THe refugees currently residing in the UK sovereign bases in Cyprus should also be immediately admitted.

    We also condemn the use of anti-terrorism powers by British police and border agency officials to harass volunteers who have taken aid to Calais

    Furthermore, we reject any national or local policy which discriminates against refugees living in the UK and demands they receive free healthcare, equal welfare rights and the Government withdraws its present policy of banning refugees from working who have not been given residency. In particular, we demand that the Government boosts the ESOL programme immediately and provides suitable education for retraining adult refugees.
Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch Committee

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road, London, United Kingdom
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

Thursday, 26 November 2015

GREEN PARTY POLICY ON HOUSING – 10am to 1pm Saturday 5 December, in Camden Town Hall, Euston Road.

GREEN PARTY POLICY ON HOUSING – 10am to 1pm Saturday 5 December, in Camden Town Hall, Euston Road.
Please RSVP for this to Anne Gray so we can ascertain numbers and plan workshops. If you RSVP we will send briefing notes and update on speakers next week. There is no charge though a donation on the day for future venue hire and sandwiches would be much appreciated.

10am registration and intro

10.15 to 11.15 3 main speakers and question/comments:-
Tom Chance – overview of London housing situation and Green Party policy responses

Richard Lee from Just Space – on their challenge to London Plan; problems of targets, densification and forced gentrification, loss of social rent housing

Andrea Carey-Fuller – rent control in private sector

11.15 to 12.15; workshops; participants choose between:-
1) The London Plan and how to fight extension of ‘right to buy’ as well as estate demolitions
2) Rent control in the private sector
3) Housing policies and solutions for singles and non-family groups, including GBLTQ, co-housing, youth in shared housing, supported housing for older people and those with disabilities

12.15-1; report back and wind-up; then lunch

Briefing notes will be sent out to those who RSVP.  We are also hoping to set up a Facebook page shortly - watch this space

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Climate Change/ Demo Bahrain Book Launch /Banner Theatre

Climate Change Demo
Bahrain Book Launch
Banner Theatre

People's March for Climate, Justice and Jobs

November 29th, branch members meet at 12:30 corner of Oxford Street and Great Cumberland Place, near Marble Arch tube.
Around the world, in major cities, people will be working together to make this the biggest, most poignant demonstration yet, and our unified voice will resonate from London across the globe to call for real action on climate change. more details...

Book launch: Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in The Gulf

Drawing on testimonies from those involved, this book provides a voice for the lived experiences of ordinary Bahrainis.
Wednesday 25 Nov 6.30pm
Bookmarks Bookshop,1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE, Admission £2.00 Payable on door more details...

Chicago, The Great Teachers' Strike

Banner Theatre tell the story of the Chicago Teachers' fight for public education.
Saturday 28th November at 7pm at the Blackheath and Newbridge Working Men's Club, Charlton Road, SE3 7HG. £10/£5.
more details...
Organised by Greenwich and Bexley TUC
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UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

we really need to do somthing about this.

On 1 December, if the Government gets its way, up to 2 million people will drop off the electoral register - in what will be the single biggest act of disenfranchisement in our history. This is an outrage and HOPE not hate is determined to do…

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Justice for Walter Rodney

Justice for Walter Rodney

Justice for Walter Rodney

We seek your urgent support for our campaign to salvage some justice for this distinguished historian, scholar-activist and author of How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. It is crucial to raise the profile of the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry into Rodney's assassination as the last chance to secure vital historic records- before its too late, and remind the Guyana government that Rodney's legacy matters, beyond Guyana.
Requesting your Prompt Action
The new Guyana government continues to efface the work of this Commission of Inquiry into Rodney's assassination by denying the two more weeks it requested to properly complete its work. They seek to frustrate the proper completion of any real inquiry, 35 years on, while more key witnesses die, records disappear, evidence degrades. And we forget.
That's why we started this petition. Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link with further information
We'd also be grateful if you could urgently circulate to colleagues, academics, students and social justice contacts. 
Thank you,
Anne Braithwaite
Justice for Walter Rodney Campaign

Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch Committee 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

UCU London Retired Members Branch: Branch Meeting November 12th and a Book Launch

Branch Meeting November 12th and a Book Launch

Agenda for November 12th Branch Meeting

The following items will be on the agenda of next Thursday's branch meeting. Please let me know if there is anything else you wish to add.

  • Report from UCU retired members AGM (inc our motion on housing)
  • London Metropolitan University threat to close the City campus
  • Commitment to the rights of Palestinians
  • SOAS victimisation of Unison branch secretary
  • Greenwich NUT strike
  • Climate March London: 29 November
  • Middle East Solidarity magazine
  • Independent Working Class Education day school
Meetings take place in the union office in Carlow Street NW1 7LH, nearest tube Mornington Crescent.

Book Launch : Clara Zetkin: Letters and Writings

Wednesday 11 Nov 6.30pm Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE
This book presents mainly newly-translated material and academic essay that will help to affirm her place among the leading revolutionary Marxists of the twentieth century. Almost all the contents will be entirely new to English-language readers.
Register here...
Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

UCU London Retired Members Branch: Branch Meeting November 12th and a Book Launch

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

UCU London Retired Members Branch :Next branch meeting - 12th November & Anti-racist demonstration in Dover

Next branch meeting - 12th November at 2pm

Meetings take place in the union office in Carlow Street NW1 7LH, nearest tube Mornington Crescent.
All retired academic staff are welcome (as well as those about to retire).
I will be out of the country, with no internet, until early November, but I shall catch up with any emails you may send as soon as I get back.
In the meantime, we have received a request from the Kent Anti Racism Network.

Anti-racist demonstration in Dover

"Just 2 weeks ago 300 Nazis marched through Dover chanting "Fuck off refugees". The National Front had a banner on the march, as did Combat 18 and other far right groups. Kent Anti Racism Network plan to organise a mass campaign in the area with thousands of leaflets, streets stalls and events.
We are also planning a demonstration in Dover on October 17th and would appreciate your support for the event."

download a leaflet from here...
Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

Thursday, 17 September 2015

national pensioners' convention




For What It's Worth Cover


Hands Off Logo with Text

The NPC’s Fair Care campaign will raise the arguments in favour of a National Care Service funded through general taxation, like the NHS. The campaign will also call for improved standards, better training and pay for care staff and the introduction of a Dignity Code to give rights to all older people in receipt of care. 

Get involved in the NPC’s ongoing Rights in Retirement Campaign for decent state pensions, proper care and an end to fuel poverty.

Sign up to receive our free monthly newsletter by sending your email address to

You can also follow the NPC on Twitter @NPCUK or find your nearest NPC  regional group by following this link.

national pensioners' convention

UCU London Retired Members Branch:UCU London Retired Members Branch

UCU London Retired Members Branch:UCU London Retired Members Branch
September Branch Newsletter
The latest UCU London Retired members Branch Newsletter is now available and may be downloaded from here...includes articles on Housing, PFI  in the NHS, Amnesty International. National Pensioners’’ Convention: Older People’s Day (1st October)

History Seminars
Socialist History Society
Saturday 19 September - Stan Newens, former Labour MP and Socialist History Society Honorary President speaks on The Achievements of the 1945 Labour Government.
Venue: Marx House, 37a Clerkenwell Green London EC1R 0DU. Time: 2.00 pm.
UCL Institute of the Americas - Caribbean Seminar
September 30th 6pm David Lambert "Am I not a Man and a Soldier?" (Re)imagining the West India Regiments in the Age of Abolition
more details...
London Socialist Historians Group:
12 October - Merilyn Moos - Generations: the impact of the personal and political on children born in Britain to refugees from Nazism
26 October -  John Newsinger  British Counter Insurgency. A history
9 November - Chris Jury  Politics, theatre and history
Socialist History Society and the Freethought History Research Group.
The British Business of Slavery
 A series of Tuesday evening talks starting on 6 October, running to 8 December 2015.
Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. All talks start at 7.00 p.m.
Tuesday 6 October 2015
Freedom’s Debt, the Politics of the Atlantic Slave Trade (1672- 1752)
Dr William Pettigrew, University of Kent
Tuesday 13 October 2015
First Prime Minister of the London Empire, William Beckford, Jamaican Planter & Lord Mayor of London (1709 – 1770)
Dr Perry Gauci, University of Oxford
Tuesday 20 October 2015
The Law’s Ambiguous Struggle with Slavery
Prof Satvinder Juss, King’s College London
Tuesday 27 October 2015
George Hibbert M.P. (1757-1837) and the Defence of British Slavery
Dr Katie Donington, University of Nottingham
Tuesday 3 November 2015
The Unfortunate Colonel Despard, “Govenor of Belize”, Anti-racist, Democrat, Executed as a Traitor 1803
Mike Jay, author
Tuesday 24 November 2015
Slavery and the Shaping of British Culture
James Walvin, Professor Emeritus, University of York
Tuesday 1 December 2015
A British-Owned Congo, Roger Casement’s Battle with Slavery in Peru (1910-1914)
Prof Jordan Goodman, University College London
Tuesday 8 December 2015
Identifying Unfinished Business, the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015)
Prof Gary Craig, Durham University & University of Hull
Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is: 
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

Thursday, 3 September 2015

National day of action, Called by Stand up to Racism, BARAC, Stop the War Coalition, Migrant Rights Network

National day of action, Called by Stand up to Racism, BARAC, Stop the War Coalition, Migrant Rights Network 

This event has been called in response to various reports of refugees fleeing war, persecution, torture and poverty losing their lives or struggling to find a safe haven. This includes the death of 200 refugees off the coast of Libya, around 70 refugees in a truck in Austria and on going reports of refugees drowning crossing the Mediterranean, stranded in Hungary and prohibited from moving around the EU, and those in Calais struggling to find sanctuary.

The government response to this has been disgraceful. Unlike Germany, Italy and Greece, Britain has not offered a safe haven for these people. 

Monday 14 September Home Secretary Theresa May will be meeting with EU leaders about the refugee crisis. We must learn the lessons of history and call on the government to take a humanitarian and compassionate response to refugees.

We are calling on the British government to meet its share of the responsibility for providing protection. Let's send a strong message: we say refugees are welcome here.

We are also calling for a national day of action on Saturday 12 September, organise local events at places of worship or unveil a "Refugees Welcome Here" banner at football matches, use your imagination!

Join us on Saturday 12 September 2015 2pm Downing Street

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Crash Call for the NHS

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Crash Call for the NHS - Saturday 

Shepherd's Bush Green at noon

- See more at:

Monday, 17 August 2015

UCU retired members' branch update

Next Branch Meeting
Thursday November 5th at 2pm
View this email in your browser

Defend the Union at London Met

On Thursday 27 August, Max Watson, London Met Uni UNISON Branch Secretary will be making his appeal against compulsory redundancy.  Max Watson, is under threat of being made redundant. He is the only member of staff in his whole faculty being made compulsorily redundant and one of only three UNISON members facing compulsory redundancy among non academic staff across the whole University.
Solidarity Demonstration Thursday 27th August, 12-2pm
Outside Rocket Complex, London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road

Fund Raising Dinner for Medical Aid for Greece

on Friday September 18th.
Cypriot Centre, Earlham Grove, Wood Green N22 5HJ
Fabulous Buffet Dinner! Live Bouzouki Music! A Raffle! - Bring own wine!
ORDER TICKETS (BOOK A TABLE!)  £30.00 each from  Send cheques, payable to ‘Medical Aid for Greece’, to Greece Solidarity Campaign, Housman’s Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N19DX.
Pay direct: to Medical Aid for Greece A/C 20307259  Sort Code 08-60-01. 

Iranian Teachers' Leader Arrested  

Esmail Abdi, a leader of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association, was arrested on 27 June following his attempt to obtain a visa to attend the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada in late July. The Education International is deeply concerned about the repression facing representatives of the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers Trade Associations.
sign the petition...
more details...

Another Walk in Deepest Bedfordshire

Monday 24th August 2015 Meet on Platform 3 at St Pancras International station at 10.45, with tickets, for the 11.01 train to Luton
This walk is being organised by Richard who can be contacted on 07903019336
walk details...

Bahrain: Support Early Day Motion 241

Sponsored by Angus MacNeil, among others, the motion provides a comprehensive overview of the spectrum of human rights abuses for which the regime is regularly condemned by Amnesty and other rights advocacy groups. Numerous areas of "ongoing violations" are identified.
more details...

Next Branch Meeting

Thursday November 5th at 2pm

Meetings take place in the union office in Carlow Street NW1 7LH, nearest tube Mornington Crescent.
All retired academic staff are welcome (as well as those about to retire).
If you have items for the agenda, or wish to be put on the mailing list please let me know.
Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Newsletter #3 

Download the UCU London Retired Members Newsletter from here...or see below

Articles on:
  • The Labour Leadership Election and the NPC Pensioners Manifesto
  • Lewisham Southwark college plan to close their Camberwell site and sell it for £5 million
  • The Dominican Republic and Bahrain
  • Ongoing Dispute at the National gallery and further developments at London Metropolitan University
  • TUC to organise national demonstration in October
  • A book on "Working Lives and Trade Unions in West London 1945-95"

Branch Walks

Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

London Retired Members Branch Number 3 - July 2015 Newsletter

 The Labour Leadership Election and the NPC Pensioners Manifesto 

NPC Pensioners Manifesto

* A basic state pension for all, set above the poverty level of £175 a week
* Increases in pensions to be linked to the best of RPI,CPI, earnings or 2.5%
* Universal pensioner benefits (bus pass, winter fuel allowance, free TV licences for the over 75's and free prescriptions) to be maintained without means testing
* A National Health and Care Service which is free at the point of use and funded through taxation
 * A legally binding Dignity Code to improve the quality and standards of care for older people

Following a discussion at the last UCU London Retired Members meeting, the branch secretary has written to all the candidates in the Labour Leadership election asking them whether they support the National Pensioners Convention's Pensioners Manifesto. Each candidate has been sent an email to their campaign address, an email to the House of Commons and a written letter in the post to the House of Commons.

After 3 weeks, only one has replied. Jeremy Corbyn's campaign team have said: "Yes, Jeremy does indeed support the National Pensioners Charter". The secretary has received numerous emails from the other candidates on a range of different topics but, alas, nothing that relates to the question actually asked.

 If you're a member of the Labour Party you can sign up to vote in the leadership election for free. Otherwise, you can become a registered Labour supporter for £3 to vote in the leadership election. More details from the website: http: //support. labour. org. uk/

 Stop this college closure: support the occupation

 Lewisham Southwark college plan to close their Camberwell site and sell it for £5 million. Police have threatened to evict occupiers trying to save the site. Ian Crosson, of Defend Lewisham Southwark College, said: “We want college governors to meet with us and look at alternatives ways out of this crisis than simply sacking key staff.” UCU believe strongly that the proposed cuts will have a devastating effect and that the notion these cuts will "save" the college is farcical.

Furthermore, the proposal to close Camberwell campus and its provision will further deprive the community of vital educational opportunities.

 The Society for Caribbean Studies condemns the threat by the Dominican Republic to expel thousands of its citizens of Haitian heritage.

 The Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic made a ruling in September 2013, which retroactively stripped the birthright citizenship from tens of thousands of people whose families have lived in the country for generations. The ruling covers Dominican citizens resident in the Republic since 1929 and their descendants, rendering them not only stateless but unable to attend school or make a living while becoming even more vulnerable to all kinds of hostilities. Researchers have already noted the impact of the ruling. A recent report by US trade unions concluded that “the deliberate creation of a stateless underclass increases the already formidable risks of exploitation”. It warned that the ruling could worsen poverty among those affected, because without an identity card people are relegated to informal jobs and have little bargaining power in relations with employers. The last time there was a major governmental crackdown against people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, during the 1937 “Parsley Massacre” by the forces of Dominican state, over 20,000 men, women and children were rounded up, then beaten or hacked to death for just being considered to be Haitian or simply looking as if they were because they were of African heritage. The Society for Caribbean Studies therefore calls upon governments, international and regional organisations, as well as human rights, and trade union organisations to put all available pressure on the government of the Dominican Republic to reverse this injustice. No ethnic cleansing in the Caribbean.


In a recent statement, Education International reports that Jalila al­Salman and Mahdi Abu Dheeb, leaders of the suppressed Bahrain Teachers Association (BTA), have been awarded this year's Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights.

For more than two years the UCU London Retired Member branch has publicly opposed the atrocious treatment of the BTA and other Bahraini opponents of the absolute monarchy. Prisoner of Conscience The ongoing nature of the attack on the BTA is emphasised in Education International's report on the Svensson Prize: "Mahdi Abu Dheeb, currently incarcerated, was sentenced to five years in prison. His health condition worsens steadily due to a lack of essential and critical medical aid. He is recognised as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Jalila al­Salman was released after nearly six months in prison, but suffers still from a job ban and restrictions to her right to free speech."

British Base

In May of this year our branch's motion on Bahrain was carried at UCU Congress. In particular, the branch has been concerned about British government complicity in human rights abuses in Bahrain and support for the repressive regime which hosts a large British base in the country and we are calling for an international trade union led inquiry into British support for the regime. Read more about Bahrain on the branch website: www. ucu­ retired­ london. org. uk/bahrain3. html

Ongoing Dispute at the National gallery

 Previous issues of this newsletter have raised the question of the National Gallery's plans to privatise 400 of their 600 staff. These are the staff who are responsible for the security of the paintings and the public, looking after millions of visitors every year. 50 days on the picket line The next strikes in the campaign to oppose mass privatisation within the National Gallery and to demand the reinstatement of unjustly sacked PCS rep Candy Udwin, take place on 20­22 July 2015. The action on 20 July also marks 50 days of strike action taken by the PCS members working in the Gallery and the strikers are planning to make the day a real celebration of the tremendous solidarity and support that the long­running action has attracted.

PCS members at National Gallery will be striking every week through July and in August will be voting on escalating their action still further, if the gallery has not agreed to halt their privatisation plans and to reinstate Candy Udwin. Judge’s summing­ up at Candy Udwin’s successful Interim Relief Employment Tribunal Hearing “it actually says no more than that the claimant did what any employee, but perhaps more particularly one in the trade union looking for relevant material, could have done. That is, she accessed the respondent’s internet legitimately and found a document that was marked private and confidential. Having found the document she used it to do a calculation. That cannot be wrong or improper. ". . . .the claimant could have shared this with any other employee entirely legitimately. Instead, she told Mr Bemrose, her trade union national negotiator. I consider it highly likely that it will be accepted, as the claimant urges, that an internal trade union representative (here, the claimant) is at liberty to consult a senior national (i.e. external) trade union negotiator freely and openly with relevant concerns. . . . . .I do not consider it likely that the claimant informing Mr Bemrose will be found to be culpable of blameworthy conduct, let alone gross misconduct. . . . . . It actually was permissible trade union activities is what I consider an employment tribunal is likely to find.”

More details from the PCS website: www. pcs. org. uk/en/national­ gallery/national­ gallery. cfm

Further developments at London Metropolitan University

 Unison branch secretary at London Metropolitan University, Max Watson, has been targeted for compulsary redundancy. Both UNISON and UCU believe that this is politically motivated ­ it is the second time that they have tried to get rid of Max. Management are using this as a diversion from the fight to oppose 165 redundancies across the univeristy. The trade unions at Lonon Met are determined to fight the cuts and protect their union organisation. They deserve everyone's support.

REDBRIDGE TRADES COUNCIL PASSES MOTION IN SOLIDARITY WITH LONDON MET: This Redbridge Trades Council condemns the compulsory redundancy notice issued to London Metropolitan University UNISON Branch Secretary, Max Watson. We believe that the LMU management have taken this action because of Max Watson’s Trade Union activities and his active support for anti­cuts campaigns, both within the university and the wider community; we note his role in the successful campaign to re­instate Charlotte Monroe at our local,Whipps Cross hospital.

1) We call for the withdrawal of this notice
2) Offer unconditional support to UNISON in this action
3) Express solidarity with all those fighting for higher education and against the cuts at London Metropolitan University London Metropolitan staff will be on strike on 24th July: Strike Rally: 12.00­2pm Tower Building, 166­220 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DB

The TUC will organise a national demonstration in Manchester this autumn against the government’s austerity agenda and attacks on trade unions. It will take place on Sunday 4 October and will begin with a march through central Manchester, culminating in a rally close to the Conservative Party Conference. Workers and community organisations from across the country will join the demonstration, which will be the first the TUC has organised since the Conservative government came to power.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This October’s march and rally will allow thousands of ordinary people to show the government exactly what they think oft heir policies. “The Conservatives’ planned attack on trade unions and extreme cuts are an assault on working people at a time when they should be focused on securing the UK’s fragile recovery and creating better jobs to boost productivity.” Defend the Right to Strike We propose an energetic campaign across the trade union movement to safeguard our rights. We intend to make the case that trade union rights are democratic rights. No other voluntary organisation in society faces as much legal intereference in their internal affairs as we do in the trade unions. The right to withdraw one’s labour is a hallmark of a free society. We believe this law can be defeated if the movement acts quickly and decisively. Defeating it would be the first step in recovering the trade union rights which have been taken from us in recent decades