Sajid Javid and the Tories Plan Draconian Strike Law Changes
The Tories are once again showing that no matter how much you say you are a party for “the hard working people of our country” that there actions show that they are anything but.
Tory strike law proposals outlined immediately after winning their slim majority in Parliament are some of the most anti-worker proposals proposed for decades – and bearing in mind the UK has some of the most restrictive, non-progressive and strictest trade union and strike laws in Europe, unions and their members are rightly asking when the tyranny imposed on them by the Conservatives will stop?
Sajid Javid is proposing plans for minimum numbers of people to have to vote in favour for strike action as well as a new 50% minimum turnout in addition to removing restrictions on employing staff to replace striking workers.
Some people will think, what’s wrong with this?
What’s wrong with this is that there are several things that Sajid Javid and his Tory cabinet colleagues have no idea what it’s like to be the average “hard working person” in this country.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action to be provided with adequate toilet facilities whilst at work.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action to have access to safe drinking water whilst at work.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action for a pay rise where already low paid workers, some of whom are coming up to nearly a decade of pay restraint, who can’t afford basic necessities of life – in fact, up until recently people like Sajid Javid decided and voted on their own, in comparison, astronomical pay rises and have now setup an “independent” parliamentary body, which recommends, if anything, even more generous pay rises which the country simply cannot afford. In a lot of cases, we’re not even talking about struggling companies under pay restraint (which although tough, in these cases can be understandable) but we’re talking about companies who have doubled, tripled, quadrupled – from hunderds of millions, to billions of pounds of profit over the last couple of years – off the back of the hard working men and women of this country.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action to get his employer to comply with health and safety regulations.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action not be dismissed due a desire to have children or indicating that they want to take parental leave.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action not to be dismissed due to disability, race, religion, sexuality, marriage, union membership or political party membership.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action to take his legally required statutory breaks whilst working.
Sajid Javid has never had to campaign and take action to be allowed to take his statutory annual leave.
I could go on for pages and pages and pages of the things Sajid Javid hasn’t had to do – and for all those reasons and many more, Sajid Javid doesn’t know what it’s like to be an average hard working person in this country. He doesn’t know what it’s like to walk in your shoes.
And that is why he doesn’t care about introducing draconian restrictions on the working people of this country to enforce his, and his parties, personal views.
Unions have already come out and said that the proposed changes “will make legal strikes close to impossible”. This is remembering that, in the most desperate of situations, the only effective remedy available to the average working man and woman is to withdraw their labour.
And it is also important to note that taking strike action isn’t something that workers or unions enter into lightly – nor is it used often.
Sajid Javid said people were “fed up” of strikes.
Please don’t pretend to be speaking for the people of the country Mr Javid. I’m not “fed up” of strikes. Yes, they may be inconvenient for me sure. Yes, I would prefer that they didn’t have to happen.
But what I am really “fed up” with is powerful corporations and quasi public-private organisations, turning over billions of pounds extra in profit year after year, paying little to no tax, flagrantly breaching the law, denying workers the opportunity to ask that their rights and their hard work be respected.
You can absolutely be pro-business (as I 100% am) without being anti-worker.
Sajid Javid misses a vital point in all of this.
Good businesses and good bosses need have no fear of Trade Unions or their members.
The Trades Union Congress said that the changes to the law would “favour the UK’s worst bosses” – and on this point in particular, they are so right.
The government’s proposals on union ballots will make legal strikes close to impossible. Union negotiators will be left with no more power than Oliver Twist when he asked for more.
After five years of falling living standards, the prospects for decent pay rises have just got a whole lot worse.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) said that unions would join together and “fight these attacks”.
These proposed new laws would mean one form of democracy for the greedy political class and another for the organised working class.
The vision and goal of the Conservative party on this clear.
They are only for the hard working people of this country if they put up and shut up under any conditions. This is a return to the worst form of Thatcherite politics that we’ve seen for decades.