Employers have no appetite to raise the turnout threshold for strike action

Posted: 16/09/2014


In a poll of employers undertaken by Penningtons Manches following a ‘head to head’ between employment partners, Tim Tyndall and Andrew Haywood, on the subject of strike law reforms, a majority (59%) of respondents believed there was no need to increase the threshold to 50% or more of the total union membership for a strike ballot to be successful.  Only 41% of respondents supported a minimum  service guarantee to ensure a basic service for essential public services such as transport and air traffic control. However, more than two thirds (68%) of respondents agree that existing balloting laws are too onerous and that legislative changes are needed to make it easier and more accessible for trade union members to vote.

Commenting on the findings, employment partner, Tom Walker, said: “While the ballot could be of some comfort to trade unions in the face of the Conservative Party’s pledge to include such a threshold in its manifesto, they should not take it as that reassuring as the response was the lowest one so far for a Penningtons Manches poll. Perhaps the results reflect the limited involvement that trade unions have in the 21st century work place. But it also suggests that politicians should not see union reform as a sure vote winner. Although the poll was carried in July, the same month as there was widespread strike action across the public sector, most employers either showed no concern or supported the status quo.”

The full ‘head to head’ arguments can be viewed here: Are the strike reforms 'nonsense'?


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP