UK government declaring war on organised labour, Corbyn tells unions

by Reuters
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 13:56 GMT

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Britain's Jeremy Corbyn marked his first major public speech since winning control of the opposition Labour Party by telling union members that the Conservative government was declaring war on organised labour.

Veteran left-wing lawmaker Corbyn swept to victory on Saturday, winning a mandate to fight Conservative austerity policies and shift the party closer to its socialist roots and strengthen links to the trade union movement which led to its creation in 1900.

Addressing trade unionists on Tuesday, Corbyn promised to fight Conservative legislation currently passing through parliament which raises the legal threshold for unions to conduct strikes and is seen by critics as an attempt to undermine their power.

"We will fight this bill all the way, and if it becomes law we will repeal it in 2020," he said, referring to the date of the next national election.

"Basically they [the Conservative government] are declaring war on organised labour," he added. "They seem to still think it is right just to attack trade unions just because they exist." (Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)

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