Fifty Tory MPs are demanding that the Government brings in tougher strikes laws to ensure the “widespread misery” seen on Southern Rail can never be repeated.[Atenção que o Thelegraph é um jornal conservador, para contextualizar alguns qualificativos que eles metem na notícia, como a referência à "misery"]
Writing to the Telegraph, the politicians claim that unions are using the “flimsy pretext” of safety concerns to cause “wide-scale disruption”.
They want new legislation that bans strikes on “critical public infrastructure” such as train and bus services unless the action is proved “reasonable and proportionate” by a judge.
Recorde-se que recentemente o Reino Unido (um dos países europeus em que as greves estão mais limitadas) aprovou legislação restringindo ainda mais o direito à greve, estabelecendo que as votações para declarar greve têm que ter uma participação de pelo menos 50% e que em serviços essenciais pelo menos 40% votem a favor da greve (ao que me parece, isso quer dizer, se num desses serviços, 50% dos trabalhadores participarem numa votação para entrar em greve, 80% dos votantes têm que votar a favor da greve). Mas pelos vistos isso não foi suficiente e agora vários deputados querem que, nos tais serviços essenciais, a greve, depois de ir a votação, seja ainda aprovada por um juiz, que ache que a greve é "razoável e proporcionada".
A esse respeito o blogue Flip Chart Fairy Tales escreve:
Two months ago, Dominic Raab accused judges of “ivory tower logic” after they ruled that the decision to leave the European Union, based on the votes of 37 percent of the electorate, needed the approval of parliament.Notando também que proibir as greves pode ter resultados contrários aos pretendidos:
He seems to have changed his opinion now though. On Sunday, he and 49 like-minded Tory MPs called for judges to overrule strike ballots if they deemed the proposed action not to be “reasonable and proportionate”. Judges, it seems, are not so ivory towered that they cannot rule on industrial disputes.
The government’s Trade Union Act, which was supposed to be the answer to all this industrial militancy, has not yet been implemented but already there are signs that it might not have much impact. The various forms of industrial action called by a number of unions just before Christmas were supported by majorities that would be within the proposed new law. Increasing the ballot threshold to 40% will not necessarily reduce the number of strikes. It might even raise turnouts, thereby strengthening the union negotiators’ hands.
The anti-union MPs have therefore moved on. If workers still insist on taking industrial action, the only thing to be done is to stop pussyfooting around and ban it altogether.
Where strikes are banned, workers often come up with more ingenious ways of protesting, such as refusing to collect fares, forgetting their driving licences on the same day or flash mobbing shops. Social media makes such things easier to organise. This sort of action is much more difficult to control. With a balloted strike at least there is some warning, allowing employers and passengers to make contingency plans. With something like a sick-out, you wouldn’t know anything about it until you turned up at the station on a cold Monday morning to find that no trains were running.
Perhaps this is why, since the 19th century, no British government has ever banned strikes in peacetime. You can’t legislate against industrial conflict. Industrial action provides a safety valve in the absence of which, the conflict will simply manifest itself in other less manageable and often more disruptive forms.