CONSERVATIVE politicians are lashing out at trade unions, proposing greater restrictions than already exist on strike ballots and even to ban strikes.

The rights of trade unions are upheld by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights (of which Winston Churchill was a founder). After negotiations fail, withdrawing their labour is the only action workers can take against unfair pay, unreasonable or unsafe working conditions and practices, including those that also put service users at risk.

In the case of the current RMT train strikes, a series of strikes will likely continue until the dispute is resolved. The RMT want to negotiate but Grant Shapps MP who, as Secretary of State for Transport, is directly responsible for industrial relations and with the Treasury telling the train operating companies what they can spend, refuses to negotiate. The stand-off is in his hands. Dissatisfied passengers should let Grant Shapps know what they think of his antagonistic attitude.


Geraldine Reardon