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Tories reconfirm public-sector strike ban plans

TERRIFIED Tories have reconfirmed plans to outlaw public-sector strikes in the face of July 10’s mass walkout.

Two million public sector workers — including firefighters, teachers and council and NHS workers — will strike over pay and pensions this Thursday.

In response embattled Tories say if they win the 2015 general election they will enact legislation to ban strikes if less than 50 per cent of union members involved vote Yes.

If the same restriction were placed on parliamentary elections no MPs would be elected.

The idea has been cooked up with the help of big business leaders, and is supported by the Prime Minister and other leading Conservatives.

On BBC Radio Five Live, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: “When faced with strike action being called on the basis of ballots often with extremely low turnouts, then actually every time that happens it strengthens the case for some sort of turnover threshold.”

Commenting on Thursday’s public-sector strike Mr Maude said trade union laws needed strengthening because strikes prevent “hardworking families from going to work and could in extreme cases put lives at risk.” 

However RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash did not accept Mr Maude’s reasoning and instead pointed out alternative reasons for attacking the political power of working people.

He said: “The reports that the Tories are planning to ban public-sector strikes and ratchet up their anti-union laws are nothing new and will meet the fiercest possible resistance.

“The front line of defence against cuts and austerity is the organised working class and that is why the Tories and big business want to tighten the legal noose around our necks. They will have a fight on their hands.”

GMB leader Paul Kenny said: “Not a single MP has secured 50 per cent of those eligible to vote in their constituency.

“There are no proposals for changes even though the outcome of that vote has a lot more significance than workers voting for action for a decent pay rise.”

A Labour spokesman said: “There is no justification for new laws to punish millions of trade unionists for exercising their right to protect schools and schoolchildren from unjustified cuts in standards and teachers’ terms and conditions.”

The Liberal Democrats are also against the proposals — meaning the Tories will need an outright victory in 2015 to set their plans in action. 


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