The Conservative Government’s proposed strike ballot thresholds: The challenge to trade unions

An indepth analysis of the Conservative governments proposals for the Trade Union Act 2016, with a particular focus on strike ballots.

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About the book

According to the authors of this timely report, the government is attempting to rush into law ‘the most sweeping and radical tightening of rules on industrial action since the Thatcher era of the 1980’s’. They warn that such proposals could result in ‘the biggest showdown over industrial relations for a generation’ and go on to drill down into one aspect of the government’s proposals – strike ballots.

The publication first explores the justification and underlying motivation for the introduction of new tougher strike ballot laws before questioning whether the technical measure proposed would increase balloting turn-outs. The pamphlet then retrospectively applies the new laws to previously held ballots by analysing a database the authors have compiled of ballots over the period 1997-2015. They conclude that the new legislation will make it very difficult for unions to mount officially sanctioned strikes in response to government-initiated austerity measures, especially those relating to national bargaining in the public sector and end by reflecting on the unions’ potential responses to the new legislation.

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