UK: Newly elected conservative government proposes changes to strike balloting
The newly elected UK government changes strike ballot legislation as part of the controversial Trade Union Bill.
Following the surprise majority achieved by the conservative party in the May 2015 elections, the new government's proposed changes to legislation on strike ballots were announced in the Queen’s Speech on 27 May 2015. The proposed Trade Union Bill contains many changes to strike ballots which were initially announced by the Conservative Party prior to the election. The main elements of the bill include a 50% turnout for industrial action and a requirement that 40% of those eligible must support industrial action in the case of essential public services. The bill also proposes time limits on industrial action to end rolling disputes. The bill also proposes legalising the use of agency staff to fill labour shortages created by striking workers.
The details of the bill are outlined in the briefing note for the Queen’s Speech. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has commented on the proposals, arguing that they are undemocratic and will make legal industrial action close to impossible.