RMT’s ballot busts through all the new restrictions that the Tory Government has threatened to impose via its Trade Union Bill
The Tory Government is attempting, with its Trade Union Bill, to impose new restrictions on the right to strike. They include a new minimum 40% turnout for strike ballots to be valid. In addition, in the public sector, at least 50% of those eligible to vote must vote “yes” for strike action to be permitted.
The RMT’s ballot soared over these potential hurdles by a wide margin, demonstrating that industrial action can and will continue despite the Tories’ draconian new rules.
RMT members will now be on discontinuous strike, with the first strike date scheduled for next week (Tuesday, 26th April, from 11am).
Kieron Merrett, GPTU secretary, said, “This Trade Union Bill-busting result is yet another huge strike mandate from RMT members – and it’s a slap in the face for the Tory Government which is attempting to suppress legitimate, democratic industrial action.
“Congratulations to RMT train conductors on Southern Rail who voted “yes.” We look forward to giving them our full support during their strike.”
The Green Party has been a staunch opponent of the Tories’ “draconian” Trade Union Bill.
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party’s RMT-backed MP, said:
“The Trade Union Bill represents a savage and vindictive assault on UK employment rights – hitting at the heart of protections enshrined in international conventions. For a Government elected by only 24% of eligible voters to propose a 40% ‘yes’ threshold for public sector strikes reeks of hypocrisy.
“I’ll be working with MPs from across the political parties in fighting this draconian piece of legislation as it passes through Parliament. If the Bill is passed into law, I would be prepared to join trade unionists and others in taking non-violent direct action to resist it.”