Strike Ballots Proposed New Laws

Strike Ballots Proposed New Laws


New proposals have been unveiled to tighten the Laws on strike ballots; the
changes will be put before parliament by the Conservative party should they
win the next election.

The Conservative manifesto will include the details which would include the
need for over half union members to vote in favour of a strike to make it
lawful; there would also be new time scales introduced and restrictions on
picketing.

Many unions have come out to say that the new measures would make a legal
strike close to impossible and Labour have endorsed this view.

The present Law allows for a strike as long as over 50% of voting members
are in favour of the strike, irrespective of the turnout.

In addition to the vote matters will become more complicated with unions
required to set out the actions they are proposing and ask for a vote on
each.

Under the proposals unions will be required to give employers 14 days notice
of any action rather than the existing seven days, and the abolition of the
existing ‘rolling mandate’ for industrial action which does makes sense and a
vote will now only be effective for 3 months. The recent strike actions
taken by teachers are using the result of a strike action ballot taken in
2012!

Picketing is presently covered by a code of conduct; the Conservatives will
pass much of this to Law making illegal pickets a criminal offence, but
will not remove the right to picket.

The coalition have branded the measures ‘potty’, and we can see their point.The
present method of union members to vote is stuck in a different time and
need reforming: at present members must be sent a letter to their home; if
the Laws on Striking are to be changed the whole system needs to be reviewed,
not just the measures that increase the strength of the Employer. Some of
the proposals are well thought out, but others do seem designed to incite a
fight with the unions prior to an election.

We will see.

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