Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, which represents tens of thousands of bus drivers, has reacted with deep concern to proposals by transport secretary Grant Shapps to limit the right of transport workers to strike action.

Unite assistant general secretary for transport Diana Holland said: “These proposals miss the fundamental point that workers only ever take industrial action as a last resort.

 “This is about generating headlines rather than improving services to the general public.

 “Commuters will know from bitter experience that Shapps’ idea of workers being forced to operate a ‘bare bones’ service could be worse than useless and potentially dangerous.

 “Already workers who intend to take industrial action are required to jump through a huge number of legal hoops in order to be able to take legal action.

 “There are already additional legal restrictions in place concerning London bus services which makes it even more difficult for those workers to take industrial action. So any further restrictions on the right to strike are entirely unnecessary.

 “Industrial disputes occur for a variety of reasons, for example over safety which is equally about protecting the travelling public as it is about protecting the workers themselves.”

 ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.