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The 'enemy within': the Thatcher government steps up its effort to disarm the TU movement
This is the second of our Class Struggles, the State and Film series. These four sessions set out to explore the ways in which the state engages in industrial conflict. Each will start with open with a selection of films about a given industrial struggle as the basis for further discussion.
The Thatcher government’s election in 1979 saw a very deliberate, carefully planned attack on working class organization and in order to defeat any resistance to neo-liberal globalisation. This was spearheaded by an assault on two of the strongest and best organised workers; printers and miners. The defeat of these unions heralded the enactment of anti-trade union legislation. Although this has been a major factor in undermining the trade union movement, class struggles continue. The success of recent mobilisations, such as those amongst cleaners and McDonald’s workers, demonstrate the continuing determination of workers to organise, despite the challenges of precarious employment in a hostile legislative climate.