Anti-strike Minimum Service Level plans - ‘unworkable and draconian’

Two LNER trains at platforms in Kings Cross station

Anti-strike plans being introduced to the Westminster Parliament aimed at imposing minimum levels of service across the public sector during industrial action walkouts have been described by TSSA as ‘unworkable, draconian and almost certainly illegal’.  

The transport and travel union has been at the forefront of a long-running national rail dispute over pay, job security and conditions. The Bill being laid before Parliament by the Conservatives today would see some trade union members forced to continue working during strikes. 

TSSA and other unions have condemned the plans, saying they would not resolve the current rail dispute and calling on Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to listen to the concerns of rail workers to negotiate a fair deal, instead of undermining their basic right to strike.  

Commenting, TSSA Interim General Secretary, Frank Ward said: “These plans are an affront to the British people because they will mean that when key workers democratically vote to strike they could be forced back to work and sacked if they don’t. That’s wrong, unworkable, and almost certainly illegal. 

“Our union totally opposes this move to bring in what amounts to further draconian anti-strike laws which are a clear attack on the rights of working people in our country. 

“Anti-strike minimum service legislation would do nothing to resolve the current disputes, something acknowledged both by unions and the Department for Transport. 

“So, instead of listening to our concerns and negotiating fair deals, Rishi Sunak has decided to undermine the right to strike. We have already said we will fight tooth and nail any attempt to stop members being able to freely exercise their basic rights. We stand by that because the ability to democratically withdraw their labour is just such a right. 

“This Tory government has crashed the economy, lost control of inflation and has proved to be the block on finding a resolution to our national rail dispute. It’s shameful that their answer to all of that is to further attack on key workers. 

“We will stand shoulder to shoulder across our trade union and labour movement to in the fight against minimum service legislation.” 

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