‘s promised anti-strike laws to curb the power of militant union barons could be unveiled as early as today.
The long-awaited legislation is expected to include ‘minimum service’ levels in key sectors – such as rail, education, fire and border security.
Employers could be able to sue unions and sack staff if these basic functions are not maintained.
The measures should be brought before Parliament by the end of the month, although they are unlikely to be in place for the current wave of industrial action.
The government faces a battle in the House of Lords, with Labour branding the move an ‘attack on the right to strike’ and unions threatening to ask the courts to step in.
Rishi Sunak confirmed that the anti-strike laws are imminent in a speech yesterday
Train drivers have walked out today, bringing the rail network to a standstill yet again
Aslef chief Mick Whelan condemned the proposed laws in interviews this morning
Industry figures obtained by the Daily Mail show by more than a third – 34 per cent – since 2012 (Pictured: RMT boss Mick Lynch on the picket line on Tuesday)
A government source told the Times: ‘This legislation will remove the legal immunity for strikes where unions fail to implement a minimum level of service.The strikes will be illegal. Ultimately people could be fired for breach of contract.’
Train drivers have walked out today, bringing the rail network to a standstill yet again.
In his first major speech as PM yesterday, Mr Sunak said ‘people should have the right to strike’.
But he added: ‘That has to be balanced with the right of the British public to go about their lives without suffering completely undue disruption in the way we’ve seen recently.
‘And that’s why I have said we will introduce new legislation that restores that balance and as well as their livelihoods.’
Union barons have vowed to ‘fight’ the Government over anti-strike laws and any new legislation could take months to come into force fully.
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Labour would not support the move.
‘The NHS relies on the goodwill of doctors and nurses and other people who work in our health service,’ she said.
‘If you say that people can’t take industrial action, to say that we’re going from clapping our nurses to sacking them for taking industrial action — which is what the Government is now threatening — the idea that that’s going to produce outcomes and reduce delays for patients, that’s just for the birds.
‘And that’s why Labour would oppose it if the Government go down that route.’
In his first major speech since taking the job, Mr Sunak said ‘people should have the right to strike’ but ministers are pushing forward proposals to guarantee a minimum service
Mr Sunak also appeared to hint that nurses could be offered more in pay to resolve .
The union has demanded pay increases of 19 per cent, but were given about 4 per cent for this year (2022-23).
The PM said: ‘As I’ve said on pay, those conversations need to be based on what’s affordable.
‘I think a 19 per cent pay rise is not affordable – I don’t think anyone thinks a 19 per cent pay rise is affordable.
‘But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have dialogue, shouldn’t have conversations.’
A pay review process which also decides pay increases for 2023-24 could also be brought forward to smooth tensions.
Addressing the process for deciding pay increases for next year, he said: https://www.citrakara-architect.com/ ‘We’ll be setting out more of plans in this regard in the coming days.’