YP Comment: May dilemma over trade unions

Prime Minister Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May
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THERESA May is right. Calls for more draconian laws to curtail the more militant trade unions is of secondary importance to reconciling those disputes causing great inconvenience. However the Prime Minister’s problem is that the belligerent unions seem incapable of showing any humanity towards all those whose Christmas plans are being disrupted by the wave of unrest.

However the Prime Minister’s problem is that the belligerent unions seem incapable of showing any humanity towards all those whose Christmas plans are being disrupted by the wave of unrest.

They’re doing themselves no favours whatsoever. By being totally unreasonable – driver only trains, for example, are not a new phenomenon – they will not be taken seriously when they do have legitimate grievance pertaining to health and safety.

This intransigence simply plays into the hands of those Tory MPs who are calling for Mrs May to stand up to the unions and move to outlaw the right to strike in key public services (policing, for example, is already governed by such an agreement). And this makes Mrs May’s position even more invidious. If she listens to the likes of Norman Tebbit and his ilk, she’s accused of being extreme. If she doesn’t, some Tories will say she’s guilty of weak leadership.

This is all the more reason for the Government to consider increasing the remit of the conciliation service Acas so disputes do not escalate out of hand in the first place.