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Coffee House

How can the Tories work with trade unions?

21 April 2013

5:57 PM

21 April 2013

5:57 PM

In the latest instalment of WWTD? Boris Johnson has called for ‘Thatcherite zeal’ from the government in standing up to militant trade unions. According to the Sun on Sunday, the Mayor of London wants a turnout threshold of 50 per cent before a strike is legitimate.

A group of Tory MPs – including those quoted in today’s story – have been pushing for trade union reform for some time. Their argument is that a movement founded to push the rights of the low-paid to the top of the agenda is now more interested in flattering the vanity of its high-paid leaders by pulling unnecessary strikes on low turnouts.

But there are others in the party – Robert Halfon being the most notable example – who are just as interested in talking about the aspects of trade unionism that the Conservatives should be endorsing. If the Tory party can help craft an effective future for the trade union movement where it returns to representing workers, rather than picking big partisan fights over small issues, then that would be a legacy worthy of the Iron Lady.

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