Fact Service May 2023

Issue 21

Government votes down strikes bill amendments

As trade unionists rallied outside Parliament on Monday in a TUC-organised emergency protest, government MPs voted down several amendments that had been added to the Strikes (Minimum Services) Bill in the House of Lords.

The move angered unions, which have promised to challenge the proposed anti-strike legislation, including in the courts.

Speaking at the demonstration by trade unionists outside Parliament, Labour Party shadow cabinet member Jo Stephens said: “I promise you - if Labour get into power at the next election: We. Will. Repeal. This. Legislation.”

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, was incensed by the vote: “The Tories have declared war on firefighters, nurses, teachers, rail workers, paramedics and other workers, by forcing through parliament this latest attack on our rights,” he stated.

“It’s outrageous that the government has ridden roughshod over the opposition by these key workers, who took to the streets outside parliament to protect their right to strike in defence of jobs and wages.”

However, he promised, “this vote in parliament is not the end of the fight against this authoritarian and undemocratic assault on employment rights. Far from it.

“A mass campaign of opposition and defiance can make this law unworkable and ultimately defeat it.”