Cameron and Johnson find common ground with strikes bill

Written by Total Politics has a free weekly Friday email bulletin. Follow this link to register. on 26 April 2011 in Diary
Diary
A bill introduced today which would make strikes in some sectors illegal without 50% union support is supported by the major and the PM

Boris Johnson has support within parliament for introducing a threshold of support for strikes.

When Total Politics’ Iain Dale interviewed the mayor in the March issue, Johnson said, “It would be useful if the government could bring in a threshold so that you didn’t have endless strikes triggered by a minority.”

Conservative MP Dominic Raab introduced his Industrial Relations (voting procedures) bill in the House of Commons today. The bill would make strikes in the emergency and transport sectors illegal if they were supported by less than 50% of union members.

Speaking on the today programme, Raab said the country has seen an increasing number of strikes not supported by a majority of union members. He argued when you have minority strikes, “the union brings enormous pressure on all its members to join the strike.”

He was joined by the RMT’s Bob Crow, who argued that if a 50% threshold is applied to union ballots, the same should apply to the AV referendum. He added, “What about all the local councillors, all the MPs, all the MEPs who get elected with less than 50% of the people supporting?”

It is very unlikely the bill will become law, but according to Johnson in the March issue of Total Politics, “David Cameron is very keen on it, and that matters a great deal.”

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