CBI: New 40% threshold would thwart Vion strike

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Trade union Law Cbi

CBI: New 40% threshold would thwart Vion strike
Next week’s strike at Vion’s Llangefni chicken processing plant would be illegal if changes to labour laws proposed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) were to make it onto the statute books.

The five-day strike, ​scheduled to start on Monday (September 20), was announced this morning after a majority of Unite union members participating in a recent ballot said they were prepared to take industrial action.

However, FoodManufacture.co.uk understands that of 158 union members at the site eligible to vote at the time, only 94 took part, 52 of which were prepared to take strike action.

40% threshold

While this represents a majority of those voting, it only represents 33% of balloted union members, and falls short of the 40% figure the CBI is urging the government to set as the minimum threshold for legitimate strike action.

A 40% threshold would ensure that the voice of all union members was heard, CBI senior policy adviser Jim Bligh told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Too often we see strike ballots that back action on small turnouts among the affected employees.

“For this reason we believe that the test for a legitimate strike should mirror the statutory union recognition rules, requiring 40% of balloted members to support it as well as a simple majority of those voting.

“This would help ensure it is the voice of all union members that is heard, and that major disruption cannot be triggered by a relatively small but active group.”

A change in the law to reflect the CBI’s proposals would require an amendment to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, he said. “But it could also be tacked onto other Bills going through Parliament.”

Click here​ for more on the Vion story.

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