Attacks on trade union and worker rights continue unabated, as efforts are made by the elite to undermine workers power, and create the conditions for even greater exploitation. Governments are largely unable or unwilling to challenge the power that has been accumulated by global and national elites, and rather than defend the people who elected them, are prepared to abandon social policies that protect the people from increased exploitation, environmental degradation and a sharp decline in welfare provision. The adoption of a neoliberal orthodoxy across the world is now almost complete, and is accompanied by measures to limit the statutory rights of workers and poor communities by diluting or overturning legislation to protect workers.
The most effective form of unity is that which is forged from the struggle itself. There is a need to re-awaken the spirit of solidarity between workers in different sectors and across the board. Public Sector workers must support those workers in the private sector who are struggling to improve their terms and conditions and vice versa. There is a need for a movement that not only empowers ordinary workers at work and in their communities, but that actively engages them in fighting for their rights and the rights of others. A trade union movement that transcends the divisiveness that is manufactured by the elite, and makes common cause with the oppressed wherever they are located. What is needed now is an active working class movement that does not allow itself to be side-lined or demobilised for narrow or selfish interests, or for political expediency.
An independent trade union movement is one that does not take its mandates from anyone but its own members. Its policies and campaigns and what it seeks to achieve at the workplace and in broader society is not imposed upon it from elsewhere. An independent trade union movement examines what is happening in the world and in the country.