Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Conservatives: Strike 1

Newly appointed business secretary Sajid Javid has said there will be “significant changes” to strike laws under the new Conservative government.

A strike affecting essential public services will need the backing of 40% of eligible union members under government plans, he said.
BBC News Website 12 May 2015 : Sajid Javid: Significant changes to strike law

Not unexpected but the 40% figure is interesting when compared to the UK General Election Result:

UK General Election vote share

Party % Vote
CON 36.9 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
LAB 30.4 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
UKIP 12.6 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦
LDem 7.9 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
SNP 4.7 ♦♦♦♦♦
GRN 3.8 ♦♦♦♦

But if we look at “eligible” voters we have to factor in a 66% turnout. Then we can compare the parties’ votes with Sajid Javid’s proposed threshold for trade union action:

UK General Election eligible electorate share

Party % “Eligible” Vote
TUs 40 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
CON 24.6 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
LAB 20.3 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
UKIP 8.4 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦
LDem 5.3 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
SNP 3.1 ♦♦♦♦♦
GRN 2.4 ♦♦♦♦

I know the Conservatives do not like public sector strikes (the public do not like them much either), but why should workers in the public sector have less right to use the strike weapon when faced with stone-walling management than workers in the private sector? (Particularly when that management is being politically driven or constrained.)

To be consistent Sajid Javid should either make this threshold apply across all sectors and votes (including Parliamentary Elections) or recognise that this proposal is driven by political dogma and being proposed by a government that does not have the support of 40% of eligible voters.

Sajid Javid – Not in my Name!


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3 thoughts on “Conservatives: Strike 1

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