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Government cracks down on strikes

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The Government has introduced the Trade Union Bill 2015-2016 in an attempt to reduce the number of strikes. No doubt fuelled by the tube chaos in London over recent months, it has also introduced three consultations over ballet thresholds in important public services and whether these should be higher, hiring agency workers during a strike and dealing with intimidation of non-striking workers during a strike. Consultation is open until 9th September 2015 and you can take part here.

The proposals under consideration in the bill and consultation documentation include:

  • An increase in the turnout required so that the threshold for eligible trade union members to vote during strike action to 50%.
  • There is a proposed additional threshold for workers in important public services such as healthcare.
  • Changes to the details on the ballot papers and more information about the ballot results after the vote.
  • The ban on using agency staff during a strike will be removed.
  • The notice for the employer of a strike will increase from 7 to 14 days.
  • The strike mandate will have a new life span of four months after which if action is not taken another ballot must be held.

These changes can only be good news for the employers whose workforces are heavily unionised and no doubt will be unfavourable as far as the unions are concerned.

Written by Edward Aston
26th August 2015