Wales

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Challenge to strike ballot threshold

Welsh Assembly debating chamber
The Welsh Assembly

A committee of AMs has backed a law which would exempt parts of the UK Government's Trade Union Act in Wales.

Under the 2016 act, strike action affecting key public services is only allowed if 40 per cent of eligible union members voted for it.

If passed, the Trade Union (Wales) Bill would rescind this requirement as well as other parts of the controversial law.

BMA Cymru Wales has previously voiced its support for the new Welsh law and gave evidence to the equality, local government and communities committee, which has just published a report backing the legislation.

Equality, local government and communities committee chair John Griffiths AM said: 'It is clear from the evidence we received that the arrangements in place before the 2016 act worked effectively in Wales and are conducive to the social partnership approach – an approach that the Welsh Government, trade unions and public sector employers have committed to.

'While the partnership approach is not without its tensions and difficulties, it seems to be serving Wales well.

'Industrial action across the UK is at its lowest for years and strikes have been less prevalent in Wales than in England in recent years. For example the junior doctors’ strike in England was successfully averted in Wales.

'It is clear to us that the success of the social partnership is dependent on equality between partners and that the relevant provisions in the 2016 act are likely, to varying degrees, to affect this.'

In its evidence to the committee, BMA Cymru Wales said restricting time off allowed by workers to undertake union work, as laid out in the 2016 act, would be 'hugely detrimental' in the work of its local negotiating committees.

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