The grassroots trade union movement is in revolt over Boris Johnson’s bombshell decision to shut down parliament in the face of a no-deal Brexit.
More than 100 leading reps have broken ranks with union bosses to argue for immediate direct action “despite legal restrictions” placed on their organisations.
A joint statement signed by 110 reps, in a personal not an official capacity, has been shared with HuffPost UK.
One trade union source signalled the move could herald mass civil disobedience, wildcat strikes and stoppages.
The reps, whose membership spans Unite, NEU, GMB, Unison and other unions, promise to “urgently mobilise direct action, including protests, strikes, and occupations”.
It comes after the prime minister’s shock decision to prorogue parliament between September 9 and October 14, sparking fears remain-backing MPs are being silenced as the country heads towards a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
Thousands of protestors flooded the streets around Westminster on Wednesday night chanting “stop the coup” after news spread that the Queen had consented to the prorogation.
One trade union source told HuffPost UK: “Boris’ Brexit plans are a massive attack on workers and working class people.
“Across the labour movement, the mood is rising. If there is a mass movement of civil disobedience, there is no reason why we shouldn’t see wildcat strikes and stoppages.”
Meanwhile, the grassroots left-wing campaign Momentum said it would support protests in Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield and York on Saturday.
National coordinator Laura Parker has said she’ll “join an occupation of parliament” and is encouraging Momentum backers to block bridges and roads.
“Eton educated, millionaire Boris Johnson is stealing our democracy so he can sell off our NHS to big US corporations in a no deal, Trump first Brexit,” she said.
She added: “There are thousands of us who will join an occupation of parliament and block the roads before we let Johnson close the doors on democracy.
“Our message to Johnson is this: if you steal our democracy, we’ll shut down the streets.”
A further demonstration in London on Tuesday September 3 when parliament returns is also planned.
Johnson has insisted suspending parliament allows him to set out a fresh domestic agenda in a new Queen’s speech on October 14.
Trade union reps’ statement in full:
“As workers and trade union activists, we oppose Boris Johnson’s attempted coup and sabotage of democracy.
“A no-deal Brexit will wreck working-class living standards and trash migrants’ rights. For an Etonian millionaire, elected by only a tiny handful of Tory activists, to force this through by asking our unelected head of state to suspend parliament is an affront to democracy and a lurch towards authoritarian nationalism.
“Despite legal restrictions, we believe our unions, the Labour Party, and the whole working-class movement must urgently mobilise direct action, including protests, strikes, and occupations, in opposition to this development. We commit to arguing for this within our unions.”
Full list of signatories
John Moloney, Assistant General Secretary, PCS union
Patrick Murphy, National Executive Committee, NEU
Daniel Randall, Assistant Chair, RMT Bakerloo Line branch
Simon Murch, NEU National Executive Committee and Joint Sheffield District & Branch Secretary
Riccardo La Torre, Eastern Region FBU Secretary
Mark Boothroyd, Joint Branch Secretary, Unite, Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital Branch
Henry Chango-Lopes, President, IWGB
Karam Bales, National Executive Committee, NEU
Ruth Cashman, Joint Branch Secretary, Lambeth UNISON
Simon Hannah, Joint Branch Secretary, Lambeth UNISON
Murray Sackwild NEU National Executive; West Essex District NEU General Secretary; Essex Branch NEU Deputy Secretary.Advertisement
Nadia Whittome, Nottingham GMB
Tom Harrington, Education Officer, IWGB Couriers and Logistics Branch
Zack Murrell-Dowson, Treasurer, Bristol Couriers’ Network, IWGB
Andrew Berry, Islington UNISON
Yousaf Hassan, Waltham Forest UNISON
Dan Jeffery, Lambeth UNISON
Tracy McGuire, NEU Darlington.
Michelle Watts, NEU Workplace Rep
Joshua Lovell, Cambridge UCU
Pete Gillard, Unite
Darren Cogavin, UCU Workplace Rep
Chris Bright, Islington UNISON
Tony Harrison, President, Oldham NEU.
Mandy Hudson Ealing NEU
Alex Blenkhorn, UNISON Workplace Steward
Ian Townson, Lambeth & Southwark Unite Community.
Rob Marsden, Leicester UNISON Health
Alena Ivanova, Unite
John Medhurst, London GMB member
Tom Harris, PCS workplace rep.
Louis Bayman Southampton Uni UCU
Len Arthur UCU retired member
Andrew Coates, Chair Unite LE/1860 (Suffolk)
Janine Booth, RMT Piccadilly & District West Branch, Trade Union Liaison Officer Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP
Christie Neary, NEU
Tracy McGuire, Darlington NEU
Lisa Crane, Birmingham NEU
Alison Treacher, Secretary, Unite, Greater Manchester Social Action Branch NW389
Jamie Green, Membership Officer & Steward, UNISON at LSE
Sam Greenwood, Branch Labour Link officer, Wakefield District UNISON
Matthias Kispert, IWGB
David Ball, workplace rep, Barnet Unison & Barnet NEU
Pat Markey, Secretary, Northampton District NEU
Kieran Miles, Unite
Stephen Wood, Night Tube Officer, Finsbury Park RMT
Charlie Hore, UNISON.
Sue Sparks, Unite
Maisie Sanders, Unite
Kelly Rogers, United Voices of the World union
Mike Thompson, Unite workplace rep
Dave Roberts, Leicester Unison
Brian Cairns, Wandsworth NEU Officer
Benj Eckford, GMB
Hazel Croft, Unison
George Buskell, Unite
Caroline Powls Unison
Gill George, Unite
John Stuttle, Father of the Unite chapel at the Guardian and Observer, Political Officer, Unite National Publishing and Media BranchAdvertisement
Susan Pashkoff, Chair, East London Unite Community
Amanda Bentham, workplace rep, Tower Hamlets NEU
Daniel Davison-Vecchione, Cambridge UCU
James Doig, workplace rep, NEU
Tim Cooper, Nottingham Unite Community
Belinda Washington, NEU & Unite
Kevin Saint, Unite
Martin Goodsell, Branch Secretary, East London Unite Community
Tim Martin, UCU
Gary Whiting, Branch Chair, Lambeth UNISON
Steve Eason, NUJ
Nik Barstow, Unite Greater Manchester Social Action Branch & Trafford TUC
Roland Rance, Treasurer, East London Unite Community
Robin Starey, Unite
Duncan Robinson, NEU
Andy Warren, PCS DWP London Region Young Members’ officer
Dave Parks, Devon County UNISON
Dave Kirk, Unite
Nalini Amichund, Workplace Rep, Croydon NEU
Bob Sutton, Unite Construction
Debbie Brown, Swindon NEU
Fiona Ogilvie, Unison
Suzanne Gannon, NEU
Gareth Murphy, Branch Secretary, Camden Unite Community Camden
Alison Lord, UCU
Gill McCall, Unite Community
Paul O’Brien, Unite Community
Jeanette Fletcher, Unite Community
Ian Fletcher, Unite Community
Sam Gisagara, Equalities Officer, Camden Unite Community
Vino Sangarapillai, Camden UNISON
Terry Clarke, UCU
Roderick Cobley, Unite
Neil Rogall, UCU
Roger Welch, UCU
Richard Brenner, Unite
Fran Springfield, Lambeth UNISON
Roberto Mozzachiodi, UCU
Anne Cooper, Lambeth Unite Community
Juliet Sherratt, NEU
Jenny Cooper, Brent NEU
Jon Rogers, Lambeth UNISON
Lucy Cox, NEU
Linda Sayle, Camden Unite Community
Claudia Ferreira, Camden Unite Community
Andrea Egan, Bolton UNISON
Paul Renny, Schools Convenor, Haringey UNISON
Ryan Hebbs, Branch Political officer, Enfield GMB
Craig Farlow, Unite
Dan Rawnsley, Sheffield NEU
Steven Carver, Tower Hamlets Unite Community