Plan to use agency workers as strike breakers comes under fire

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Government plans to change the regulation to enable corporations to rent agency workers to substitute putting employees have at this time come under fire – together with from representatives of recruitment businesses.

With ministers braced for a “summer of discontent” as teams together with nurses, lecturers and mail workers mull industrial motion, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is tabling laws which can take away a 1973 regulation banning the use of agency workers as strike-breakers. Plans to put it earlier than parliament at this time foundered after the House rose sooner than anticipated, and Mr Kwarteng could have to watch for Monday to begin the method, which requires a vote by MPs.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps stated that change would imply future strikes would trigger much less disruption by permitting “flexible, fully skilled staff to continue working throughout”.

Speaking on the second day of strike motion by rail workers within the RMT union, Mr Shapps stated: “Despite the efforts of militant union leaders, they cannot bring our country to a standstill.”

However, authorities sources acknowledged that the reform wouldn’t essentially stop disruption in future rail strikes, as employers had been unlikely to have the option to discover momentary workers to fill expert posts like signalman.

And the chief government of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Neil Carberry, stated agency workers had been unlikely to need to cross picket strains and place themselves on the centre of controversial disputes.

Changing the regulation to enable corporations to rent agency workers to substitute employees on strike throughout industrial disputes won’t work, the top of the UK’s recruitment physique has

“It is not something agencies want, and will not achieve the goals the Government claims,” he stated.

“Inserting agency workers into strikes will only lengthen disputes. It will also not provide the workers that Government wants, and it puts agencies and agency workers in a very difficult position, with potential health and safety and reputational risks to consider.

“Agency workers are in high demand, and most will not choose a job that forces them to cross a picket line over another where they do not have to.”

TUC basic secretary Frances O’Grady stated that agency workers can be positioned in an “appalling and impossible” place if requested to act as strike-breakers.

The union organisation has warned that the laws might breach an International Labour Organisation conference to which the UK is a signatory.

Ms O’Grady accused the federal government of “chasing headlines, rather than acting in the national interest” within the rail dispute. :

“The government should be getting people around the table to find a fair resolution to this rail dispute,” she stated.

“But ministers are more interested in cynically picking a fight with unions than reaching a negotiated settlement.

“Having slammed P&O for replacing experienced workers with agency staff, Grant Shapps is using the same playbook.

“These plans are a deliberate attempt to undermine the right to strike and to reduce workers’ bargaining power.

“Bringing in less qualified agency staff to deliver important services will endanger public safety, worsen disputes and poison industrial relations.”

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