Conservatives announce public sector strike restrictions

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New business secretary Sajid Javid has today announced the introduction of tougher rules on union strike ballots.

In line with the Conservative party’s strike proposal in January, Javid is arguing for a minimum 50 percent turnout in strike ballots rather than the current system, where a win is determined by a majority backing from those who voted.

General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, said:

“This is a government not so much on the side of hard-working people but Britain’s worst bosses – those who want their staff to be on zero-hours contracts, poverty pay and unable to effectively organise in a union so that they can do something about it.

“The government’s proposals on union ballots will make legal strikes close to impossible. Union negotiators will be left with no more power than Oliver Twist when he asked for more. After five years of falling living standards the prospects for decent pay rises have just got a whole lot worse.”

Despite what the unions have called an “undemocratic” proposal, the RMT rail union members have today voted to strike over Network Rail Pay. The union says that the strike was backed by 80 percent of its members, “comfortably outstripping” the Tory’s proposed restrictions.

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  1. Am I alone in worrying whilst the higher intial hurdle probably will make strike action slightly less likely, that could well come at the cost that – once greater support from the workforce has been mobilsed by the Union(s) – achieving resolution will become far more challenging and costly?

    It could be something of an ‘own goal’ too that at present there’s a degree of moral high-ground & public opinion impacting in a way favourable to management when a strike is triggered by an obvious minority, which currently often translates into low staff cohesion and support for the Action.
    Won’t that be diminished – making ER’s job of finding resolution harder?

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