Ian Lawrence reports
The government has this week published a revised code of practice on the “reasonable steps” unions should take to ensure members comply with minimum service levels (MSLs) during strike action. This follows the laying of regulations last week for MSLs in passenger rail, ambulance service and border security.
Ministers have dropped elements of the original code, freeing unions from communicating with all members in a workplace and removing a proposed duty on picket supervisors to encourage compliance with a work notice.
But the scheme still places entirely unacceptable restrictions on the right to strike with entire groups of workers likely to their ability to take action removed or hugely curtailed. It also places unions in the unacceptable position of having to actively undermine their own members’ industrial action and leaves a legal grey area around the role of picketing.
Ministers hope to rush the regulations through Parliament to have them in force by mid-December. The TUC is working closely with Parliamentarians on the most effective ways to oppose this legislation.
The Special Congress will debate the impact of MSL’s and our response to them through a General Council statement. This statement will be discussed at a meeting of the General Council on Thursday 7 December.
ACTION: Affiliates are encouraged to contact their Parliamentary groups to ensure that MPs and peers are fully briefed on this draconian legislation. Unions are encouraged to provide suggestions for the content of the General Council statement to the TUC by Friday, 24 November.