Print Chief Issues Strike Challenge to the Premier

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID NORRIS

THE president of the TUC gave a chilling foretaste yesterday of what the unions really want from New Labour.

Tony Dubbins, Leftwing boss of the 216,000-strong Graphical, Paper and Media Union, presented a shopping list of demands aimed at restoring the barons' shop floor muscle.

Opening the TUC conference in Brighton, which is to be addressed by Tony Blair today, he issued a clear challenge to New Labour policy.

He said the Government should make it illegal for employers to sack strikers and insisted that unions should get automatic recognition if over half a workforce were members.

Labour has pledged only to draft legislation next year making recognition obligatory if a majority of workers votes for it.

The print union boss also raised the ugly spectre of flying pickets reappearing. He said unions should have the right to take 'solidarity action' against strikebreaking tactics.

His remarks were calculated to embarrass TUC boss John Monks, who later stressed that unions had to work in partnership with the new Government.

The Dubbins hard line was echoed by John Edmonds, head of the 740,000 member GMB. …