Boris Johnson has responded to the biggest rail strike in a generation with a plan to sabotage the industry crackdown by allowing companies to hire contract workers, a move unions deemed impractical, unsafe and potentially a violation of international law. Cried as a break.
As 40,000 workers braced for Tuesday’s strike, the biggest strike on the railways in 30 years, Downing Street brought changes that allowed employers to replace salaried workers with temporary workers.
The highly controversial measure will make disputes long and bitter as unions accuse Johnson of a move that was warned by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on Monday that “not even Margaret Thatcher passed”.
Instead, it will spark disagreements between employers and unions over when the government should try to reach an agreement, he said.
Rail strikes on Tuesday resulted in the cancellation of nearly 80% of train services across the country, with further action on Thursday and Saturday after talks between rail operators and the RMT union broke down. London Underground workers will also exit for 24 hours on Tuesday, bringing the capital’s transport system to a standstill.
RMT Secretary-General Mick Lynch promised more attacks over the summer as the two sides remained at odds and government ministers refused to come to the negotiating table.
Lynch said the offers were unacceptable. “What we understand is that this Tory government has a dead hand in this dispute – and the fingerprinting of the DNA of Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is the whole issue. The railroads, in this company.”
He said the source of the controversy was “the Government’s decision to reduce funding for National Rail and TfL to £4billion…
Union leaders and a major recruitment body warned on Monday that the government’s plan to lift the ban on strike-breaking would make the situation worse. No official announcement was made, but Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng tweeted: “The lifting of these 1970s restrictions will give companies the freedom to access skilled temporary workers on short notice. The law will be made.”
Whitehall sources said the campaign for new anti-strike legislation was more likely to come from No. 10 and the Cabinet Office as from the Department of Commerce.
TUC Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Laws against the hiring of contract workers have been in place since they were outlawed in 1973. Since then we have had successive Conservative governments. Not even Margaret Thatcher came close. away, for very good reason. But Boris Johnson took the script off.” He said it appeared the prime minister was trying to unite his side in the conflict with the unions as “part of Operation Save the Big Dog” – to prop up his ailing premiership . Nickname for exertion.
Nowak said there were safety concerns when it came to hiring agency workers who might not have experience with what they were being asked to do and putting them in an “awkward position” to cross a picket line. will be given.
“It prolongs the controversy. This makes them very bitter. The use of agency workers becomes another point of conflict between employers and the unions themselves,” he said. “We have serious concerns that agency employees are being pitted directly against salaried employees.”
He also questioned the legality of lifting the ban. Citing the United Nations’ right to strike under the principles of the International Labor Organization, Nowak said, “Once again, this government is showing its disregard for international law, which these resolutions almost certainly violate.” Huh.”
A joint statement from the TUC and the Recruitment and Employment Federation (REC) said the scheme was counterproductive, impractical and put workers at risk.
REC chief Neil Carberry said: “The government proposal will not work. Agency staff have a choice of roles and are very unlikely to cross pickets.”
The plans will not only affect the railways but many other sectors where unions are considering strike votes, including NHS workers, teachers, carers, civil servants, refuse collectors and others.
Unions representing NHS staff also slammed the government’s plan to encourage the use of agency workers in hospitals and other healthcare facilities as “reckless”, impractical, “alarmist” and a threat to patient safety. .
Joan Galbraith-Marton, Director of Industrial Relations and Legal Services at the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This change would be undemocratic and unsafe.
“Each industrial action by our members is already carefully planned to ensure patient safety. Instead of bringing in less qualified or temporary staff, this could put patients at risk.
“Nursing is a highly skilled profession and without a thorough care plan, the workforce cannot be changed just to cover.”
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Managers at the Partnership Union, which represents NHS managers, said the Government was “barking up the wrong tree” by proposing temporary replacements for striking NHS workers.
Their chief executive, John Restel, said: “Health unions generally guarantee life and limb coverage, so they don’t call all their members to strike and so the government is in jeopardy.” used to the maximum by the NHS.” [in England], so it’s difficult to see where the extra capacity will come from. It also costs an arm and a leg – say £6.2bn in England in 2019-20.
He warned that the use of such workers could jeopardize patient safety, saying: “There will be a number of healthcare regulatory constraints on healthcare staffing and service delivery. If the government dumps them for a period of industrial action. If they try, the government will be very lax.
“Employers use temporary workers to fill gaps. They want to avoid full temporary teams for security reasons. In short, it takes people with organizational knowledge to know who to call when things go wrong. Make. “