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Opinion
Therese Raphael

Union Bashing Won't Win It for the Tories

Conservatives are right to legislate against militancy, but they must do more than bash organized labor if they want to win the next election.

Mick Lynch, General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.

Mick Lynch, General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.

Photographer: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images Europe
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It looks like the prize of winning the Conservative leadership election will be a bruising battle with Mick Lynch, the emerging face of organized labor in Britain. Amid yet more rail strikes last week and threats from frontrunner Liz Truss to retaliate with new labor laws, Lynch, the leader of Britain’s Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, warned that the country could be heading for the first “general strike” since 1926.

The next Tory leader will face a combination of soaring inflation and labor unrest that’s not been seen since the 1970s. British workers planning or threatening walkouts include lawyers involved in criminal trials, teachers, junior doctors and nurses, and workers at Britain’s largest container port. Telecoms workers and postal workers have voted to strike. To make things messier, there has also been a walkout by waste collection workers.