05 October, 2010
Following on from the recent strike action surrounding the London Underground, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has led calls for a change to the law surrounding strike action.
Mr Johnson's view is that at least fifty percent of union members polled ought to be in favour of strike action before it can take place. The CBI has backed this view, but has argued for a lesser figure of forty percent.
Under present law, as long as at least one percent of those polled respond and there is a majority within that one percent, strike action can take place. It could be argued that this makes a strike action more likely; on the basis that the more militant members of the union are more likely to respond in any event.
The comments made by Mr Johnson could be the opening salvo in what might be an ongoing battle between the unions and the coalition, which could escalate following the Comprehensive Spending Review due to be published on 20th October.
Any employers with union involvement ought to be extremely careful in handling any employee disputes and seek to consult on any changes they need to implement at the earliest opportunity. Whilst the most obvious implications of the Comprehensive Spending Review will be felt by public sector employers, it is without doubt the case that those in the private sector will feel the effects too, particularly if strike action goes ahead.
Implementing changes to survive in the present economic environment is something that any business may well have to consider, but it is important that employers follow a correct procedure in doing so. Any employer faced with this situation is urged to take specialist advice at an early stage in order to avoid the possibility of costly Tribunal litigation.
For assistance with dealing with any employment related matter for your business, please contact the Employment Solicitors at Forbes, the largest specialist team of Employment Lawyers in Lancashire on 01254 222399 or freephone 0800 689 0831.