skip to main content

New TUC General Secretary Launches Campaign to Protect the Right to Strike

The Trades Union Congress will fight new anti-strike legislation every step of the way supported by member unions including the Musicians’ Union.

Published: 13 January 2023 | 3:46 PM Updated: 06 February 2023 | 5:13 PM
Paul Nowak
The proposed anti-strike legislation comes two weeks after Paul Nowak took up his new role as General Secretary of the TUC. © Jess Hurd.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) will hold a national ‘protect the right to strike’ day on Wednesday 1 February with events in different parts of the country.

Close to 100,000 people have signed the TUC’s petition to protect the right to strike. Add your voice to the call.

Sign the petition now

The “Sack Key Workers Bill”

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday 10 January, Business Secretary Grant Shapps announced the Minimum Service Levels Bill.

Dubbed the “Sack Key Workers Bill,” it would force members in some sectors who democratically and lawfully vote to strike back to work. Those members can be sacked if they do not comply.

The Bill also gives the Business Secretary the power to decide what the statutory minimum service level would be.

While it is unlikely to affect MU members in their music work, the right to strike is a fundamental trade union right and the MU stands firmly with the movement in the fight to protect it.

Stay up to date with the Union news

The union will be sending out information in its regular newsletters to members, which you can opt into by logging in to My MU and updating your communications preferences.

We also re-iterate the union’s solidarity with people on strike to protect jobs and improve their pay and conditions, including rail workers, nurses, postal workers, ambulance workers and civil servants.

Building a stronger, more diverse union movement

The proposed anti-strike legislation comes two weeks after Paul Nowak took up his new role as General Secretary of the TUC. In a blog post setting out his vision for the future of the TUC and the whole trade union movement, he wrote:

“The UK already has the most restrictive trade union laws in western Europe – but ministers are set to undermine the right to strike even more. That will tilt the balance of power even further towards bad bosses and make it harder for working people to win better pay and conditions.

“Have no doubt: I will lead the union movement in opposing further restrictions on the right to strike – just as we will oppose further attacks on any rights at work, including those rights that came from the EU.”

Outlining his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, Nowak said:

“Working people deserve a seat at the tables of power – and it’s the job of unions to get them there. That’s why, when I’m asked, I always say that my first priority is building a stronger, bigger and more diverse trade union movement.

“Unions must reflect the modern multiethnic working class of the UK in 2023, promoting women and Black leaders and fighting racism and discrimination.”

Nowak was elected TUC General Secretary unopposed last year, with nominations from across the movement including from the MU.

Continue reading

General Secretary Naomi Pohl stands in discussion outside of the Royal Opera House

2023 End of Year Round Up

MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl reports back on the work that the Union has done through 2023, as well as setting out some of MU’s intentions for 2024, and more general food for thought about the music industry.

Published: 30 December 2023

Read more about 2023 End of Year Round Up
MU Executive Committe Vice Chair Andi Hopgood, stands and speaks from the mic while holding a small child.

Wrapping Up MU Delegate Conference 2023: Motions, Updates and Celebrations

MU Delegate Conference wraps up with motions on the Welsh language, future pandemic planning for musicians and the closure of rail ticket offices, with union members using the second day of MU Delegate Conference to vote on a very clear set of policy priorities.

Published: 26 July 2023

Read more about Wrapping Up MU Delegate Conference 2023: Motions, Updates and Celebrations
A small church on a sunny day in Tolpuddle, Dorset

MU Returns to Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival

The Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival will run 14-16 July in Dorset, seeing thousands of trade unionists gather from around the UK to commemorate the bravery of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. MU Regional Organiser Andy Warnock will be in attendance for the weekend.

Published: 20 June 2023

Read more about MU Returns to Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival

Get MU membership today

From gig players to part-time teachers and professional instrumentalists, MU members can access specialist insurance for musicians. This includes accident cover, health schemes, travel insurance and car insurance add-ons through the Musicians’ Union.

Explore our member services

  • Get public liability insurance for musicians
  • Access expert legal support
  • Be represented in your profession
  • Access expert career advice, resources, and training events
  • Connect, network, and get to know the community of musicians

Learn about all membership benefits

Get MU membership today