Allow Agency Workers to Fill in Strikers as Government Tries to End ’70s Restrictions | politics news

Agency workers could be allowed to fill the striking staff, under new plans introduced by the government.

It comes amid three days of major rail strikes – with passengers set to face more cancellations on Thursday and Saturday.

Under current trade union laws, recruiters are prohibited from providing temporary agency workers to cover strikes.

The government said the legislation would remove “onerous legal restrictions” to allow companies to hire temporary proxy staff on short notice to cover essential roles for the duration of the strike.

Examples were given of skilled temporary workers who were able to fill vacant positions, such as train dispatchers.

Subject to Parliament’s approval, the changes are being made through a statutory instrument and are due to come into effect in the coming weeks and will apply across England, Scotland and Wales.

Business Minister Kwasi Kwarting said: “Once again, trade unions are levying a ransom on the country by shutting down important public services and businesses. The situation we are in is not sustainable.

“Removing these 1970s-era restrictions will give companies free access to fully skilled employees quickly, all while allowing people to get on with their lives uninterrupted to help keep the economy moving.”

Please use Chrome browser for an accessible video player

What do railway workers demand?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Despite the tremendous efforts of hard-line union leaders to stop our country, it is clear that this week’s strikes have not had the desired effect due to more people being able to work from home. However, there are far too many families and businesses That hard-working was unfairly affected by the union’s refusal to modernize.

“Reforms like this legislation are vital and will ensure that any future strikes will result in less disruption and allow flexible, adaptable and skilled employees to continue working full time.”

The government also announced that it would raise the maximum damages courts can rule against a union when a strike was found illegal from £250,000 to £1 million.

Read more:
All you need to know about rail strikes

Passengers share their travel problems
A worker explains the reasons for the withdrawal saying it has ‘nothing to do with money’

Labor has criticized the plans, saying they risk public safety.

Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: “This is a recipe for disaster, not only undermining wages and working conditions, but risking public safety and shredding ministers’ rhetoric.

“The government appears to have learned nothing from the P&O scandal, which has led to numerous safety failures and ship layoffs.

“The idea that this could solve the travel chaos they created is just a figment of the imagination rather than real solutions.

“No wonder business leaders oppose it as much as trade unions. It’s just another Conservative tactic to inflame more discord in the country they should lead, not divide.”

TUC Secretary General Frances O’Grady said: “The government must get the people to sit around the table to find a just solution to this railway dispute.

“But ministers are more interested in picking a fight with the unions lightly than in a negotiated settlement.

After P&O criticized for replacing experienced workers with agency staff, Grant Shapps is using the same rules of the game.

“These plans are a deliberate attempt to undermine the right to strike and reduce the bargaining power of workers.

“Recruiting less qualified agency personnel to provide critical services would jeopardize public safety, exacerbate controversies and poison industrial relations.

“Unions and the agency recruitment industry have warned ministers that these plans are not viable.”

Leave a Comment