10 July 2014 #Employment
David Cameron promised yesterday that the next Conservative manifesto will include a proposal to require a minimum turnout threshold when union members vote in an industrial action ballot. That would mean that there would have to be a minimum percentage threshold of eligible union members voting in favour of industrial action for the action to be lawful. At present, a simple majority of union members being balloted is required so that ballots can be won on a low turnout.
In relation to today’s public sector strikes, Cameron attacked the low turnout thresholds in union strike ballots and challenged the validity of mandates to take industrial action derived from ballots conducted, he said, more than a year ago in some cases.
The prime minister said: “I think the time has come for setting a threshold. It is time to legislate and it will be in the Conservative manifesto."
He also criticised Ed Miliband for neither supporting nor condemning the strikes, billed as some of the largest since the general strike of 1926. They cover teachers, civil servants, transport staff, firefighters and a range of local government staff protesting over real-terms pay cuts.