Mick Lynch on new anti-striking laws is 73 seconds of pure gold

Mick Lynch slams new anti-strike bill

Never one to leave us guessing what he's really thinking, Mick Lynch has returned to share his views on new anti-strike legislation the government is planning.

At a select committee today, the RMT union boss condemned the proposals, which could lead to striking workers getting the sack and the government setting "minimum service levels" for industries to follow to minimise distruption.

Speaking about the controversial legislation, he said: "It tickles me that they will put non-qualified people into signal boxes to break strikes and they'll have safety incidents which they have every time they have a strike... but its the unions that are endangering safety, it's the attempt to break the strikes that imports more danger than anything else, and it's an infringement of civil liberties.

"The right to strike is something that any democratic society will have. If they want to run the signaling system on Network Rail during a dispute in the way that they they'll have to get all the signallers to work and they'll command them and conscript them to work.

"If they were doing that in Putin's Russia, or in Iran or China they would rightly be condemned," he continued. "Conscripting workers to go to work against their will is an outrage and that's what this legislation will bring forward ,that either we will name them, or the companies will name them, or even the secretary of state may name individuals that have to go to work on strike days."

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"How that is democratic and free in a free society, I don't understand", he added.

And speaking on a separate occasion, he called the bill “an attack on human rights and civil liberties which we will oppose in the courts, parliament and the workplace”.

He is not the only union leader to have condemned the bill. Sharon Graham, the leader of Unite, called it “another dangerous gimmick from a government that should be negotiating to resolve the current crisis they have caused”.

Nevertheless, business secretary Grant Shapps defended it in the commons. “While we absolutely believe in the right to strike, we’re duty bound to protect the lives and the livelihoods of the British people,” Shapps said. The new ambulance strike “will result in patchy emergency care for the British people – and this cannot continue”, he said.

Shapps added: “We do not want to use this legislation. But we must ensure the safety of the British public.”

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