Unite’s deputy regional secretary, Davy Thompson, said minimum service levels are
“the most invidious example of knee jerk legislating this country has seen in a long time. They won’t work, won’t resolve disputes, will harden attitudes, are likely unlawful.”
Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International UK, said:
“The idea that these draconian restrictions to the right to strike should be extended to Northern Ireland is alarming. The rights to join a trade union and withdraw one’s labour through strike action are fundamental human rights.
The legislation ignores key safeguards that protect workers’ rights under international law. It gives ministers sweeping powers to impose minimum service levels after whatever consultations they see fit, rather than requiring them to negotiate alongside unions and employers.
This anti-trade union law has been just one of numerous examples of the Government’s drive to erode human rights in the UK. Thankfully, this is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and the legislation does not apply and should never be introduced here by our politicians.”
A Northern Ireland Office spokesperson said:
“Trade union relations and labour relations are a devolved matter. It remains the government’s top priority to facilitate the return of the Northern Ireland Executive and a fully functioning assembly, so these important issues can be addressed by those elected to do so.”