Magazine article Public Finance

Party Agrees Strike Ban for Vital Services

Magazine article Public Finance

Party Agrees Strike Ban for Vital Services

Article excerpt

Strike action that threatens to damage the UK economy or bring public services to a grinding halt would be outlawed under a new policy approved by the conference.

Although the party ruled out a ban on the right to strike, it does want ministers to be able to interfere in industrial disputes that could jeopardise the national interest.

'The government can't stand idly by if strikes threaten the economy,' Alan Sherwell, an Aylesbury councillor who chaired the policy working group, told delegates on March 5.

'When the normal negotiation process failed, if Parliament agreed, the government would impose binding independent arbitration. Strike action could not legally proceed but the workforce would win their case if their argument was strong enough,' he said.

Sherwell added that, under the LibDem proposals, the recent fire dispute would have escaped the 'malign and backdoor government interference' that blighted it. …

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