Afzal Khan MP holding a sign which says
Afzal Khan MP holding a sign which says 'I'm proud to be in a trade union'

2022 came to a close with industrial action happening across the public and private sectors. Workers across the country are feeling the crunch from over a decade of wage stagnation and the rapid rise in the cost of living from food to energy. The decisions made by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng in their mini budget will have a lasting impact on the UK markets and households are struggling. Workers in the public sector have seen a growing real term pay cut, according to the Office of National Statistics. With Chancellor Jeremy Hunts budget announced, public sector workers will continue to see the real term pay cut over the next year and industrial action is expected to continue.

The Government has chosen to focus their efforts now on punishing public sector workers – those who were deemed key workers and heroes during the pandemic – by threatening their jobs and suing trade unions for striking. Announced by Business Secretary Grant Shapps earlier this week, the Government intends to introduce and pass legislation in the upcoming weeks which would allow employers of specific industries to sue trade unions as well as sack staff if they strike. These anti-strike measures are under a guise of ‘minimum safety levels’, however I believe these measures are unworkable and offensive to staff who work hard to keep our country running.

The Labour Party does not support this legislation and will continue to object to it at every opportunity. To end strikes, the Government needs to have open conversations with unions and compromise. Making strikes virtually illegal does not help the country run better, it does not help workers pay their bills, and it will make this situation worse. Labour is committed to repealing this legislation if it is passed when in power.





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