Transport Select Committee’s recommendations a “belated attempt to make unfair strikes law look palatable”

Large picket line at York station with placards and Rachael Maskell MP

TSSA today (Friday) slammed the Transport Select Committee’s (TSC) nine tests for Government on strikes laws, calling them “a belated attempt to make unfair and undemocratic legislation look palatable”

The Transport Select Committee has released nine key principles it believes the Government should include in minimum service regulations for railway workers strikes. The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act which became law earlier this year, and has condemned by trade unions, will force union members who vote for industrial action to attend work, breaking their own strike.

Commenting, TSSA Joint (interim) General Secretary Peter Pendle said: “The public will see these proposals for what they are – a belated attempt to make this unfair and undemocratic legislation look palatable. But nothing can hide the fact that this laws is designed by a hypocritical Tory government to take away workers’ fundamental right to strike.

“One of these recommendations is to pay staff more if they have to work on strike days – a blatant attempt to bribe people to scab. If the government wants to use taxpayers’ money to stop striking, I’ll tell them a better way – pay the railway workers a fair wage! Some of my members have gone four years without a pay rise.

“Another recommendation says that passengers with access needs must receive the same support as they are entitled to on regular travel days. What blatant hypocrisy from a government currently trying to force through ticket office closures in the face of outcry from disability and pensioner groups.

“Ultimately the Minimum Service Levels law is there to undermine workers’ right to strike. It’s anti-democratic and unworkable. It’s unnecessary. The only reason the rail strikes are still ongoing is because the Department for Transport has deliberately interfered in negotiations between rail companies and trade unions.   

“No amount of papering over the cracks in this undemocratic legislation is going to make it look good. The public won’t be fooled and the Conservatives will be paying the price at the General Election.”

A row of cartoon people in various railway company uniforms. they are a wide range of ages, races and a mix of male, female and non-binary. One is in a wheelchair, another has an LGBT + pride flag badge. One has a hijab and another is wearing a turban. Text reads "Our Rail Our Future, Your Ticket Offices , Keep Them Open." in white on red and blue background.

Our Rail Our Future - Ticket Offices Campaign

Check out our Ticket Offices campaign page, for news, updates and resources.

Take me there now!