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| 15.03.2012

Morning Star: Delegates back POA ban battle

Delegates to TUC women's conference threw their weight on Thursday
behind prison officers union POA's fight for the right to strike.


The then Tory government slapped the POA with a walkout ban in
1993, making it the only union in Britain robbed of this basic right.
 

Moving a successful motion on the issue, POA delegate Barbara Baker
said the law didn't just ban union members from taking any form of
strike action.
 

"We can't even utter those words without threat of legal action," she
told delegates at Congress House in London.
 

"As branch officials or union leaders if we are seen to 'incite' industrial
action we become criminals and could be imprisoned.
 

"The POA has been taken to court on a number of occasions in an
attempt to do this."
 

Ms Baker attacked the previous Labour government's failure to repeal
the law and urged conference to help the union win this basic human
right.
 

The POA has entered an application to the European Court of Human
Rights to restore its trade union rights.


The government has until May to formulate a response.