The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has branded the proposed Trade Unions Bill as ‘an attack on the rights of working people’.
The CWU represent workers in the postal and telecoms sector and recently took a stand against closure of a Carphone Warehouse distribution centre in Wednesbury.
The new reforms will introduce a 50% voting threshold for union ballot turnouts, in a move the government claims will ‘strengthen strike laws’. In key industries, such as health, education, fire and transport, 40% of those entitled to vote must be in favour of industrial action before a strike can take place.
The CWU’s General Secretary Dave Ward, claiming these new reforms undermine workers voices. He said: ‘This is not just an attack on trade unions but the rights of all working people in our country.
‘The Tories like to proclaim themselves to be the 'party of the workers,' but they’re now trying to undermine the main voice of the workforce in our country.’
The bill will lift the ban on using agency staff during strike action, as well as impose restrictions on picketing, with Nick Boles, Minister for Trade Unions explaining there must be a balance.
He said: ‘People have the right to expect that services on which they and their families rely are not going to be disrupted at short notice by strikes that have the support of only a small proportion of union members.
‘These are sensible and fair reforms that balance the right to strike with the right of millions of people to go about their daily lives without undue disruption.’
Consultations on the proposed reforms, as well as repealing the ban on the use of agency workers opens today and will close on September 9 2015.