The MPs are incensed after the Public and Commercial Services Union announced a strike of border guards on the eve of the Olympics next week.
They accused the PCS of “holding Britain and the Olympics to ransom” and said it was being “deeply irresponsible”.
The strike was called despite only 20 per cent of PCS members taking part in the ballot. Of that 57 per cent voted to strike — which means that the strike action over cuts to jobs and a pay freeze was only backed by about 11 per cent.
Some business groups want strikes only to go ahead if more than half of members vote for it.
Dominic Raab, the Tory MP, said: “These reckless and damaging strikes strengthen the case for a voting threshold, so the militant minority can’t hold the hard-working majority to ransom.
“It can’t be right that union bosses can paralyse vital infrastructure and humiliate the nation on a malicious whim, when just 11 per cent of their members support strike action.”
Aidan Burley MP, a founder of the Trade Union Reform Campaign which is pressing ministers to curb unions’ influence in Whitehall, said border guards should be banned from striking, like the police. “This strike on the eve of the Olympics is selfish, shameless and spineless and the no strike rule that applies parts of the public sector like the police should be extended to other critical areas like immigration officers,” he said.
The strike was also criticised by Keith Vaz MP, the Labour chairman of the home affairs select committee.
He told The Daily Telegraph: “This is the wrong thing to do at the wrong time. We are supposed to pull together and having looked at the way our borders operate the role of the PCS members is absolutely critical.”
Priti Patel, the Tory MP, added: “Any ballot in which fewer than half of those eligible to vote do so should be ruled invalid. This strike is yet another irresponsible protest by those who are once again putting their own interests before that of our county.”
Nick de Bois MP, a senior member of the 1922 committee of MPs, added: “I hope that moderate PCS members retract this call to strike so that we can give a proper welcome to visitors to Britain and put the country first.”
Conor Burns MP, who led the rebellion over Lords reforms, added: “The idea that these cloth cap colonels can hold the public to ransom on a turnout of 11 per cent is grotesque and anti-democratic.”
Matthew Hancock MP, an unofficial adviser to Chancellor George Osborne, added: “The majority of union members did not vote for this outrageous strike.
“Shameless union bosses who want to disrupt our borders at the key moment just a day before the Olympics should not be allowed to call a strike when only a minority of their members voted for a strike.”
Last November, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said one option to control unruly public sector unions was to change the rules on when a strike can be called. That suggestion emerged after public sector unions staged strikes based on fewer than a third of their members’ votes.
Some business groups want strikes only to go ahead if 40 per cent or 50 per cent of members vote in the ballot.
Mr Maude said: “It is clearly an option. If very disruptive strike action is carried out on the basis of these weak ballots, weak turnouts, the case for reform gets stronger.”
Last night, the Department for Business, which has the lead on strike policy, said no changes were planned.
Damian Green, the immigration minister, said: “This is a completely selfish and irresponsible decision by the PCS leadership. With only around one in 10 voting for industrial action, they have no authority to call their members out on strike.”
Last night a PCS spokesman said that if a threshold applied to elections then councillors and even the London Mayor would not be voted into office because of the low turn outs at local elections.
He called on the Government instead to make it easier for PCS members to vote such as over the internet, to increase the number of people taking part in ballots.