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MP asks whether controversial anti-strike Bill INCLUDES taxi drivers as ‘transport services’

A controversial anti-strike Bill continues to move closer to becoming law after MP’s backed the move for it to become law.

The new bill will restrict ’transport services’ and other public service sector workers from striking.

Under the Government's proposed Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, minimum service levels will be imposed on some workers. Senior staff would also be given the green light to legally fire workers who ignore a "work notice" on days of industrial action.

There are however fresh parliamentary concerns that taxi services could also encompass the Bill as a ‘transport service’ which would restrict cabbies from strike action.

Iain Stewart MP, Chair of the Transport Committee, addressed the House of Commons later in the debate saying: “What will be covered by the definition of “transport services.

“There are the traditional ones that we all assume will be covered—trains, buses, flights, ferries and the like—but what about some of the other modes of transport, such as cycle hire or taxi services? What does the definition encompass?”

Grant Shapps MP, Secretary State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, opened the parliamentary debate saying: “The Government firmly believe that the ability to strike is an important element of industrial relations in the UK.

“That ability is rightly protected by law, and we understand that an element of disruption is likely with any strike. However, we also need to maintain a reasonable balance between the ability of workers to strike and the rights of the public, who work hard and expect the essential services that they pay for to be there when they need them.

“We must be able to have confidence that when strikes occur, people’s lives and livelihoods are not put at undue risk. As has become clear from recent industrial action, that is not always the case, so we need a safety net in place to ensure that the public do not become collateral damage.”

The statute passed its second reading in the House of Commons with MPs backing the Bill by 309 votes to 249.


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