As the dust settles on the election of the first Conservative Government in nearly two decades, its legislative priorities are beginning to become clear.
Of a particularly contentious nature are the proposals in the Trade Union Bill relating to ballots for industrial action. The stated rationale for changing industrial relations rules is to limit future disruption to business, the public and essential services of the kind witnessed as a result of the latest London tube strikes. The recent troubling scenes in Calais, partly caused by industrial action, are held up as a compelling reason why the current UK rules on balloting for industrial action need to be changed. The Government contends that for the UK to be a serious player in an increasingly competitive commercial world, the rights of workers must be appropriately balanced with the needs of business. The Government says that the right to industrial action is still supported but only when there is a clear mandate.