Laura Sharman 28 May 2015

Trade unions blast strike action reforms

Trade unions have hit out at Government plans to raise the threshold for strike action, announced in yesterday’s Queen’s speech.

Unite said it was ‘staggered’ with the announcement and warned the priority should be on creating more jobs rather than focusing on ‘insecure workers’.

‘Unite has said repeatedly that the way to increase turnouts in strike ballots is not to make it harder for people to exercise fundamental rights, but to modernise voting,’ said general secretary, Len McCluskey.

’This can be easily achieved through consensus and discussion, and without the division and fear that the government’s approach prefers.

GMB also warned that proposals to raise the threshold for strike action would lead to an increase in ‘unofficial stoppages’ and blasted the Government as ‘anti-trade union’.

‘It's one rule for the Tory slush fund, hedge funds and another for trade union members’, said Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary.

However, the TaxPayers’ Alliance welcomed the new legislation, saying it would protect the public from unfair disruption. Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: ‘The Government is right to limit the influence of a politically-motivated minority at the top of trade unions from holding the country to ransom for their own ends.

‘Even after this legislation, there remain numerous safeguards protecting the right to strike, so this legislation is a reasonable and fair response to ensure taxpayers' lives are not disrupted by poorly supported strikes as they have been in the past.’

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