Workplace rights: Changes to striking

With government spending cuts starting to bite, businesses are worried about co-ordinated industrial action in the public sector, which unions say is inevitable.

by Michael Burd and James Davies

Small wonder that changes to the law are being mooted to make it harder to call strikes. The CBI believes low turnouts in many industrial action ballots have resulted in strikes going ahead without widespread support. It wants legislation tightened so 40% of balloted union members have to support the action, as well as a majority of those voting. Mayor Boris Johnson and other Conservatives would go further and make strikes lawful only if a majority of those eligible to vote were in favour. The opposing view is that the UK already has tough constraints on the right to strike. The Coalition will probably conclude that the current legal regime strikes the right balance.

Michael Burd and James Davies, Lewis Silkin LLP solicitors, email: employment@lewissilkin.com.

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