Conservatives promise to be tougher on public sector strikers if elected again

Sarah Spickernell
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Public sector workers currently just need a ballot majority to strike (Source: Getty)
The Conservative Party says it will impose stricter rules on public sector strikers if voted in at this year's general election.
Currently, a strike can go ahead simply if it has a majority of those who choose to take part in a strike ballot vote in favour. That means, for example, that a vote of six would be enough for a strike to ahead, so long as ten people voted.
Under the new rules, which will feature in the party's manifesto for May, this wiould change drastically – 40 per cent of all eligible union members would have to be in favour for a strike to go ahead.
A ban on using agency staff to cover for striking workers would also come to and end, and a three month time limit imposed between ballot and action.
All “core” public services will fall under the updated requirements, including health, transport, fire services and schools.
It is likely to cause outrage among trade unions, which have already described the Conservatives' plan for a minimum 50 per cent turn out in strike ballots as “un-democratic”.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, told the BBC it was “wrong that politicised union leaders can hold the country to ransom with demands that only a small percentage of their members voted for. It causes misery to millions of people; and it costs our economy too".
"It is only fair that the rights of unions are balanced with the rights of hard-working taxpayers who rely on key public services,” he continued.

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