Union leader brands Minimum Services Bill as “another dangerous gimmick”

Commenting on the introduction of new legislation to Parliament for “minimum safety levels” during industrial action, Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham said: This Bill is another dangerous gimmick from a Government that should be negotiating to resolve the current crisis they have caused.

“Grant Shapps is, as usual, economical with the truth. He is taking the worst practices from other countries but not those that actually assist workers. The evidence from abroad clearly shows this kind of legislation only forces unions to use other tactics, inflaming and prolonging disputes.

“If he wants to import good practice from other countries I can give him a long list. He could start with banning fire and rehire, which can't be done in countries like Ireland and Spain but is still legal in the UK."

Commenting on misleading claims made by Grant Shapps that ambulance unions did not reach a national agreement to provide emergency cover during last month’s strike, Sharon Graham said:  “I would also like to correct his totally false claims that our ambulance workers have not agreed ‘life and limb’ cover during disputes.

“Our ambulance workers, like other NHS workers, never go on strike without first putting these agreements in place. If he understood how the ambulance service works, he would know they are negotiated with local managers to ensure that all the specific situations in each NHS Trust are taken into account. It is highly irresponsible and misleading to suggest otherwise. The British people are very capable of seeing through this absolute toffee.”