Anti-strike laws to limit the power of militant unions could be unveiled ‘in days’ says Rishi Sunak as strikes crisis grips the nation
- Laws to limit the disruptive impact of strikes could be unveiled in ‘coming days’
- Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed the anti-strike legislation yesterday
- Stikers will have to ensure a minimum level of service across some industries
Anti-strike laws to limit the power of militant union barons could be unveiled within days, Rishi Sunak said yesterday.
Ministers will unveil proposals to address the strikes crisis gripping the nation, the PM revealed, when asked how he would solve it without caving in to demands for inflation-level pay rises.
It means plans for new laws designed to ensure a minimum level of services are kept running during walkouts could be brought before Parliament by the end of the month.
Officials are already drawing up draft legislation which would ensure minimum staffing levels in public services, such as the NHS and schools, to limit the impact of strikes on the general public.
The Prime Minister confirmed that plans are in motion to make it more difficult for workers in certain industries to go on strike. Officials are already drawing up draft legislation which would ensure minimum staffing levels in public services, such as the NHS and schools
Industry figures obtained by the Daily Mail show the average driver’s salary has surged by more than a third – 34 per cent – since 2012 (Pictured: RMT boss Mick Lynch on the picket line on Tuesday)
It comes after the Prime Minister last year promised ‘tough new laws’ against unions shutting down Britain’s rail, post and health services, with teachers, firefighters and junior doctors also set to embark on strikes.
In his first major speech since taking the job, 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 crucially protects people’s lives as well as their livelihoods.’
Union barons have vowed to ‘fight’ the Government over new anti-strike laws and any new legislation could take months to fully come into force.
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 bitter dispute with the Royal College of Nursing.
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: ‘We’ll be setting out more of plans in this regard in the coming days.’
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