Natascha questions Minister on right to strike

20 Dec 2012

Natascha Engel (North East Derbyshire) (Lab): The right to withhold one’s labour is a mark of a country’s democracy. Does the Minister agree that any move to restrict that right is a move in an anti-democratic direction?

Jo Swinson: The hon. Lady makes an important point. It is also worth noting that strikes and industrial action at present are at historically low levels. That is a sign of positive industrial relations and is to be welcomed. Trade unions play a very important role, and although the headlines generally focus on industrial action and strikes, the excellent work that they do on training and resolving workplace disputes often does not hit the headlines and should be commended. We always keep issues under review, but it is fair to say that the industrial action laws and situations are generally working well.

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