The Government attempt to curb the right of transport workers to strike received Royal Assent in July 2023. The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act grants the Secretary of State for Transport sweeping powers to set minimum service levels during strikes, removing or curtailing their effect.
This is unacceptable to BALPA and the entire trade union movement: the Bill must be repealed.
BALPA members overwhelmingly support the right for a union to listen to its members and, when they demand and vote for it, strike. This is not because BALPA members are eager to strike, but because they know that without a credible threat of industrial action, their association would not be as successful as it is in day to day negotiations with employers.
Issues including safety, scheduling, lifestyle and pay are all seriously on the negotiating table as a result of that credible threat. Therefore, collectively with the TUC, BALPA fought the proposals as part of a far more effective, larger group.
BALPA’s Honorary President Lord Balfe regularly spoke in the House of Lords on behalf of BALPA’s members, arguing against “the weakness and stupidity of the Bill“.
Earlier this year, BALPA’s former General Secretary Martin Chalk joined the TUC in hosting a briefing for MPs in the House of Commons, alongside trade union policy experts, encouraging MPs to support an evidenced based approach to resolving industrial conflict, not these backwards and doggedly ideologically motivated measures.
The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill seriously harms the right for workers to strike.
This is unacceptable to BALPA and the entire trade union movement: it must be repealed.