PM Sunak gets ‘tough’ on ‘unreasonable’ Unions
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke of ‘new tough laws’ at PMQs today, in a latest effort to protect people from strike disruption.
The PM referenced Union Leaders as ‘unreasonable’, despite increased strikes across different sectors and an inflation rate of 11.1%, the highest for 40 years.
Nurses, paramedics and rail staff are among those set to strike this winter.
He told MPs if “union leaders continue to be unreasonable, then it is my duty to take action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the British public”.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer cited comments from the Transport Secretary, suggesting new laws would not help with current industrial action.
A bill has been showcased to Parliament, which allegedly would ensure minimum service levels on transport networks during strikes, which is set to be debated by MPs and peers.
Downing Street said the legislation would be extended to other services, however, no specifics or timescale was shared.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said work was “ongoing” on other options for future industrial action, he refused to rule out a ban on strike action by emergency services.
Earlier, Transport Secretary Mark Harper told MPs the bill currently before Parliament “may well improve the service passengers receive on strike days” in the future but it would not “help with the industrial action that we face today”.
He added that his “priority” was to resolve the industrial dispute with rail unions “so that passengers don’t have strike days”.
Sir Keir said the prime minister “should stop grandstanding, stop sitting on his hands, get round the table and resolve these issues”.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Rather than attempting cheap political pot shots, the government should be getting around the table and negotiating with unions about pay.”
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