The government has just launched consultation about the Trade Union Bill as they propose to reform strike ballot laws and modern trade union law. The consultation will close in September 2015.
The main proposals are:-
- industrial action will require a 50% turnout
- 40% of all eligible voters must vote in favour of industrial action which affect important public services
- the ban on using agency staff to cover striking workers will be lifted
- a 4 month limit on a strike mandate, after which another ballot is required
- more specific requirements for the wording of the ballot paper
- banning automatic opt-ins to political donations from trade union subscription fees
- increased notice to employers so they can prepare and put contingency plans in place
- tackle intimidation of non striking workers
The government has published the draft Trade Union Bill, along with three separate consultation documents on ballot thresholds in important public services, hiring agency staff during industrial action and tackling intimidation of non-striking workers.
The Government claims that the proposed legislation,will create greater transparency around union practices and will ensure strikes are the result of a clear and positive democratic mandate from union members after all other possibilities have been explored.
This has of course angered unions as they claim it would make all legal strikes impossible.