RISHI Sunak has vowed to push ahead with “tough” new laws making it harder for workers to strike.
As The Sun revealed on Saturday, the PM is considering major new emergency powers to break industrial action due this month.
1Rishi Sunak PMQ’s 7 December 2022Credit: Sky NewsSpeaking at PMQs this afternoon, Mr Sunak pledged to “protect” Brits from a chaotic winter of discontent, as hundreds of thousands are set to walk out of work before Christmas.
He said: “Hard working families in this country are facing challenges.
“The government has been reasonable. It’s accepted the recommendations of an independent payroll body to give pay rises, in many cases higher than the private sector.
“But if the union leaders to continue to be unreasonable, then it is my duty to take action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the British public.”
Ministers are trying to push through a new law to ensure a minimum level of service on strike days in key industries, such as rail.
The package may include using agency workers to fill strikers’ crucial roles and making it easier for bosses to replace strikers permanently.
Today No10 refused to rule out BANNING ambulance workers from striking, in a similar way to police officers.
No final decision on the measures has been taken yet, but the PM is understood to be studying a range of options.
Fresh anti-strike laws are set to open a new front in the government’s war with health, rail, nursing and postal unions among others.
RMT members are due to begin their latest round of industrial action next week, after rejecting an offer of an 8 per cent pay rise over two years from employers Network Rail.
Walkouts will take place on the 13-14 and 16-17 December.
And in a major blow to families across Britain the union has announced further strike action from 6pm on Christmas Eve to 6am on 27 December.
Meanwhile, 600 soldiers are being trained in immigration and borders roles after the PCS union threatened to strike.
And the military could also be used to drive ambulances and fire engines.
This morning Transport Secretary Mark Harper admitted new anti-strike laws are unlikely to get pushed through parliament “rapidly” because they face huge opposition from the Labour Party.
He said: “It’s clearly not going to be something that’s going to help with the industrial action that we face today.”
But the minister added he’s determined to reach a resolution with union bigwigs so families can enjoy a strike-free Christmas.
“It is my firm intention to try and get to a position where we can resolve the industrial dispute,” he said.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk