Amendment 33

Part of Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill - Committee (2nd Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 23 March 2023.

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Photo of Baroness O'Grady of Upper Holloway Baroness O'Grady of Upper Holloway Labour 5:15, 23 March 2023

If I can elaborate even further, it is not necessarily the issue of being counterintuitive or not; if there is a voluntary agreement, both parties enter into that voluntary agreement with good faith. So if, as we have discussed many times before, safety is genuinely at risk and there are life and limb agreements, unions and employers work incredibly closely together to secure the consent of individual workers, and issue them with what we call exemptions to go across that picket line. That can all happen. But as soon as you introduce the law and remove that requirement for agreement, why is it our responsibility to make this work? It is not our responsibility; it is the employer’s responsibility. You cannot have it both ways. If we are going to have a voluntary agreement, we will do our best to honour and make that voluntary agreement work. If the state intervenes and dictates to workers under threat of dismissal, it simply will not work.