Up to 11 trade unions have filed legal claims against the UK government over the right to strike.
The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) and Thompson’s Solicitors LLP have coordinated the judicial review of “anti-worker” regulations.
The unions, which represent millions of workers in the UK across a wide range of industries, have been identified as ASLEF, BFAWU, FDA, GMB, NEU, NUJ, POA, PCS, RMT, Unite, and Usdaw.
They have filed a lawsuit challenging the government’s new rules allowing agency workers to cover for striking employees and end strikes.
A strike had been planned for 15 September but was postponed following the announcement of the death of The Queen.
The unions contend that the regulations are illegal because the previous Secretary of State for Business disregarded the Employment Agencies Act 1973’s requirement to consult with unions.
According to them, the regulations also infringe upon fundamental labour rights guaranteed by Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The TUC issued a warning that these new laws will exacerbate labour disputes, restrict the fundamental right to strike, and possibly jeopardise public safety if agency employees are required to perform duties that are essential to safety without receiving the proper training.
The proposals were also deemed “unworkable” by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which represents suppliers of agency workers.
“The lack of robust evidence and the expected limited net benefit raise questions as to the practical effectiveness and benefit,” the Lords committee tasked with reviewing the legislation stated.
Recent anti-union and anti-worker legislation and proposals, including the government’s agency worker regulations, which the TUC claims violate international law, have been reported by the UK government to the UN agency that monitors workers’ rights, the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The TUC-affiliated unions UNISON and NASUWT are also bringing their own individual legal actions to challenge the government’s regulations regarding agency workers.
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TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said. “The right to strike is a fundamental British liberty. But the government is attacking it in broad daylight.
“Threatening these right tilts, the balance of power too far towards employers. It means workers can’t stand up for decent services and safety at work – or defend their jobs and pay.”
It comes as rail workers are set to stage more strikes in October as part of a long-running dispute over pay.
Similarly, Royal Mail (RMG.L) workers were due to stage the second day of a 48-hour strike in a dispute over pay and conditions, but also called it off during the period of national mourning.
Source: Yahoo News