On Tuesday 24 January 2017 I voted to oppose the Ten Minute Rule Motion moved by Chris Philp MP (Member for Croydon South) to bring in the Industrial Action (Protection of Critical National Services) Bill to regulate industrial action.
Trade unions have a long history of campaigning for workers’ rights, stretching back to the 19th century. In 2015 there were 106 strikes which is an eighth of the number of strikes that took place in 1985. That is the lowest level since records began in 1893.
The Bill proposed would regulate industrial action by those providing certain critical national services such as railways, operators providing buses, trams and underground railways, the NHS and fire and ambulance services.
I am concerned the Government are not addressing the crisis in our national services. On 8 January 2017 the Prime Minister dismissed the humanitarian crisis in our hospitals as “overblown”. The real problem facing our NHS is not doctors’ strikes, but the underfunding, understaffing and overworking in NHS hospitals and A&E departments.
On 3 January 2017 Labour MPs protested against rail fare increases, yet the Government did not address people’s right to a reasonable fare when travelling to work.
The Bill proposed would restrict the rights of people in the workplace. The motion was lost with Ayes: 127 Noes: 206.