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The Tory who wants to ban strikes

Boris Johnson may argue for a minimum turnout threshold on industrial action ballots, Vince Cable might make threatening noises at GMB conference. But throughout my adult lifetime, I cannot remember any public figure openly advocating that strikes should be illegal.

Step forward Dr Andrew Lilico, an economist who – modestly or otherwise – styles himself ‘one of Europe’s top experts on financial regulation’. He has worked extensively for the European Union, Ofgem and Ofcom, and is a member of the Institute of Economic Affair/Sunday Times Shadow Monetary Policy Committee.

In a blog post for the Daily Telegraph, the erstwhile Tory councillor helpfully reminds us today, every one of the 750,000 workers that join the June 30 public sector stoppage will be in breach of contract. As English law now stands, there is no such thing as the right to strike. Stoppages are only possible at all because unions have immunity from subsequent claims for damages.

He goes on to wonder out loud why strikes should be permitted at all. Industrial action by workers, he argues, is an attempt to exercise monopoly power. If farms that supply Tesco did that kind of thing, it would be a criminal offence. I notice that Dr Lilico doesn’t indicate any objection to Tesco pushing small farmers around, but that is not immediately relevant here.

One Comment

  1. Michael Dawson says:

    I agree it’s time to at least make it much harder to strike.
    At present public sector workers can basically band together and hold the country to ransom, this really is a selfish act especially in a time of deep financial crisis which they seem to be completely ignoring.
    I have listened to many everyday people in varius employent within the private sector whom are extemely angry at the aparthied situation between private and public sector.
    The difference is the people I spoke to don’t get listened to simply because they are now second class citizens to the first class public sector workers.
    Maybe we should have listened to Mr Clarkson ?

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