Recent disputes (BA etc) have shown that it is almost impossible for a union to freely hold a strike ballot and have the results accepted. The employers will always mount a legal challenge; with good reason; the courts nearly always find in their favour.
I agree with ballots, I think it strengthens the union cause if there is a good, free vote in favour of strike action. The way the labour laws are constructed. they are tilted against the unions.
I would ask HMG to repeal these unjust laws. So now I have; there is not the slightest chance this will happen. The government want to make savage cuts; why would they free up trade unions?
I am an old fashioned trade unionist, I have been a branch secretary (shop steward). After a period out of the unions working for a virulently anti-union employer I'm now a member of Unite.
Britain likes to see itself as a free country. When it comes to unions it isn't. The coalition is likely to make striking more restrictive, if not virtually illegal.
Here is another vanishing freedom. Same reason; powerful lobby, state agrees.
Organised labour has no friends. West or East its the same.The old communist countries never allowed free trade unions. China. storming on, won't allow them either to the detriment of its workers (accident rates in China are a massacre of workers limbs and lives). America is anti union to the core! Yet we exist! All over the world trade unionists insist on the basics: a fair wage for labour; fair conditions; safe practices.
Hardly a revolutionary demand, but actually the most revolutionary of all, because the market , capitalist system exists on unfairness! Its not unusual that we face cuts, and bankers pay out big bonuses. Its simply the nature of the beast.
Why is this idea important?
Because current labour laws are so restrictive that they make the UK look like a tin-pot dictatorship rather than a developed democracy. This should change
.Everything Solidarnosc did in Poland; solidarity strikes( i.e secondary picketing). political strikes. organising against the state, is utterly illegal in the UK, The Tories have never been union friendly, nor have the Lib -Dems; at another time, a dictatorial government elected, you might need organised labour to defend the democracy. Don't throw us away without thinking!