David Cameron has announced plans to outlaw strike action in essential services. The announcement comes as as up to two million public sector workers prepare to take part in national strike action.
According the BBC those expected to take part in Thursday’s action include:
- Firefighters who are involved in a row over pensions and retirement age
- The Public and Commercial Services Union – which represents civil servants, passport office workers and other public sector staff –in a dispute over pay, cuts to jobs, pensions and the privatisation of services
- Unison which represents, among others, workers in local government, healthcare, colleges and schools and the GMBrepresenting, among others, workers who serve school meals, clean streets, empty bins, carers and school support workers, in a row over this year’s pay offer
- Unite members – including local government staff, council workersand teaching staff – who also dismissed the “insulting” pay offer
- The National Union of Teachers which says teachers are “under attack” from the government on pay, pensions, workload pressure and conditions
- Members of the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance, who work in a range of areas including housing, youth justice and libraries, will strike over pay
- RMT members working for Transport for London will strike over pay and pensions
Speaking to the media today, Cameron said:
“I don’t think these strikes are right… I think people should turn up for work.
“I think the time has come for looking at setting thresholds in strike ballots… The [NUT] strike ballot took place in 2012, based on a 27 per cent turnout.
“How can it possibly be right for our children’s education to be disrupted by trade unions acting in that way? It is time to legislate and it will be in the Conservative manifesto.”
Speaking to RINF, a primary school teacher who wishes to remain anonymous, said:
“Cameron complains that by teachers going on strike disrupts education, however his government have done more to damage our profession and children’s learning any government I’ve ever known of.
If he is to change the strike laws regarding the tun-out, I hope he also applies this to his own political elections be it European or General elections etc.”
According to The Independent Labour accused the Prime Minister of inflaming the situation, rather than trying to find a solution.
A party spokesman said: “We think strikes are a sign of failure. We don’t want these strikes to go ahead, but the Government should be getting round the table, not ramping up the rhetoric.
“There is a frame, which the Conservatives want to use, of blaming low-paid workers and blaming teachers for these strikes.
“The truth is that the low-paid workers have had £250 promised to them then taken away by George Osborne and teachers have been abused and denigrated by Michael Gove.
“The way to resolve these strikes is to stop ramping up the rhetoric and sort things out.”