Wales TUC has called a rally on 1 February to call on the UK government to withdraw the minimum service levels bill and its “latest attack on the right to strike”.
The rally will take place at 11.30 on 1 February outside William Morgan House in Cardiff. The building houses Secretary of State for Wales’ Office, which promotes the views of the UK Cabinet in Wales.
The minimum service levels bill – dubbed the “sack key workers bill” – would mean that when workers democratically and lawfully vote to strike in health, education, fire, transport, border security and nuclear decommissioning, they can be forced to work and sacked if they don’t comply.
Wales TUC says this legislation shows that the UK government is determined to attack workers’ fundamental right to strike.
The union body says that the proposed legislation would make it harder for disputes to be resolved – pointing to the UK government’s own impact assessment, which suggests minimum service levels prolong disputes and lead to more frequent strikes.
Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:
"The right to strike is a fundamental Welsh freedom, hard won over many generations – but this UK government seems determined to attack it.
“This legislation would mean that when workers democratically vote to strike, they can be forced to work and sacked if they don’t comply.
“That’s undemocratic, unworkable, and almost certainly illegal.
“UK ministers have gone from clapping key workers to sacking key workers. They seem more interested in scheming up new draconian restrictions on the right to strike than addressing the real concerns of public sector workers.
“Let’s be clear. If passed, this bill will prolong disputes and poison industrial relations – leading to more frequent strikes.
“That’s why all Welsh MPs must do the right thing and reject this cynical ‘sack key workers bill’.
“It’s time for the UK government to show they are on the side of nurses, firefighters and all our key workers who got the four nations through the pandemic – not actively working against them.”
Right to Strike Rally event details
Date: Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023, - 11:30 to 13:00
Location: Outside William Morgan House, UK Government Offices, Wood Street, Cardiff, CF10 1EP
Speakers to be confirmed