As Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announces a new crackdown on financially devastating strikes, trade unions will be compelled to submit salary proposals to a vote among their members.
Mr. Kwarteng introduced new rules in his “Emergency Budget” this morning to guarantee that industrial action may only occur if negotiations between companies and unions “had actually broken down.”
Prior to this autumn’s anticipated wave of devastating train strikes, the chancellor took this measure.
A statewide strike by ASLEF-represented train drivers is scheduled for both October 1 and October 5. This will disrupt both the London Marathon and the Conservative Party convention in Birmingham.
In addition, the RMT has warned that as part of its protracted dispute over wages, employment, and conditions, they would be “essentially closing down the railway network” on October 8.
On September 30 and October 1, Royal Mail employees intend to strike, and the Royal College of Nursing is pushing its members to support strike action in a vote scheduled for next month.
Mr. Kwarteng highlighted the most recent initiatives to avoid future disruption as an impending “fall of discontent” – which follows significant industrial action by trade unions this summer – looms.
In an effort to lessen the suffering of commuters, ministers have already announced legislation requiring transport firms to offer a minimum service during strike action, as stated in the Conservative platform.
The Chancellor went a step further today and announced regulations requiring trade unions to engage their members on compensation proposals before to announcing a strike.
Other European nations have minimum service standards, according to Mr. Kwarteng, to prevent militant trade unions from shutting down transportation systems during strikes.
So, we’ll follow suit. We’ll keep going after this.
We’ll pass legislation requiring unions to submit wage proposals for member approval, ensuring that strikes may only be called when meaningful progress has been made in discussions.
Grant Shapps, who was fired last month by new Prime Minister Liz Truss, expressed his appreciation for the Chancellor’s statement.
The former Cabinet minister added, “Last is one of the steps from my 16-point plan I outlined this summer for fighting “forever strikes” and means four of the actions are currently underway.”
The general secretary of the RMT, Mick Lynch, said that Britain already had “the most stringent anti-democratic trade union rules in western Europe,” and that Mr. Kwarteng’s declaration will “rightly outrage our members.”
The union leader said, “The Government shouldn’t be trying to make it even difficult to conduct effective strike action, they should be working toward a negotiated conclusion in the national rail conflict.”
“RMT and other unions will not sit quietly by or meekly accept any more barriers on the exercise of their members’ fundamental human right to withdraw their labour.”
The Government must cease demonising unions and seeing them as the adversary, said UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea.
She said the strikes were a sign of the rising cost of living problem.
Ministers need to consult with unions to find solutions to issues rather than making it tougher for workers to get appropriate pay.
Trying to tie up unions in knots while going all out for City elites only serves to demonstrate to workers that the government is not on their side.
Mr. Kwarteng used his “emergency Budget” to offer tax cuts totalling £45 billion in addition to his declaration on strikes in an effort to resurrect the UK economy.
The 45p top rate of tax was eliminated by the chancellor for anyone earning more than £150,000, while the 20p basic rate of tax was reduced by 1p with effect from next April.
Additionally, he said that he would stop the planned rise in Corporation Tax, reverse the increase in National Insurance payments, and eliminate the bankers’ bonus ceiling for City employees.
As public sector workers struggle with rising costs of living, trade union leaders accused Mr. Kwarteng of “unashamedly” supporting “the rich, big business, and the City”.
“Billionaires and city bankers will once again be debating which tax haven they will stash their money in, while millions of regular families continue to struggle to make ends meet,” said Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite.
“Giving public sector workers a pay increase would be the best way to help the economy if there are billions of pounds available to spend,”
The Chancellor, according to GMB general secretary Gary Smith, “chosen to pour money into the hands of rich multinationals.”
He said that the Chancellor was “tight on wage increases for care workers but soft on bonuses for bankers” and that today’s statement had “put in stone an economy that is skewed against working people.”
“Our members demand an economic strategy that benefits everyone, not just the speculators and spivs who have profited greatly from a Tory Government,”
“The Chancellor had an opportunity to define a new course, but he failed his first and most crucial test,” the statement reads.