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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Ruling Conservatives to introduce tough strike laws for public services in UK.............

British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party said it would introduce tough strike laws for some public service workers if it wins the general election in May, prompting anger from unions, which called the proposals an affront to democracy.
Under the Conservatives' plans announced on Saturday, a strike involving health, transport, education or fire service workers would require the backing of at least 40% of eligible union members to be legal.
The move comes after a series of strikes last year by public sector employees, including teachers and firefighters, and stoppages by rail workers on London's underground train network that caused chaos for millions of commuters.
Many of these strikes would have fallen foul of the new proposals. Cameron has previously argued industrial action without proper backing was unjustified.
"A strike in the public sector affects many people who have no chance and exercise no authority over that strike whatsoever," Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told BBC Radio. "So before it takes place it ought to have the support of at least 40% of the members that trade union."
Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Britain's umbrella union body, said the move would effectively end the right to strike in the public sector.
"No democracy elsewhere in the world has this kind of restriction on industrial action," she said in a statement. "It is a democratic outrage, especially as the Conservatives have opposed allowing secure and secret online balloting - the one measure guaranteed to increase turnouts."
With the opposition Labour party running neck and neck with the Conservatives in opinion polls, the latest proposal is also designed to put pressure on Labour leader Ed Miliband, who Cameron accuses of being in thrall to powerful unions.
Labour accused the Conservatives of "playing political games with the unions." "Most government ministers don't manage to get 40% of all eligible voters voting for them at elections," said Lucy Powell, Labour's election campaign vice-chairman.