Skip to main content

Right to strike: win for workers as ILO intervenes

22 June 2023

Nautilus International has welcomed an intervention by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which has declared that the UK government's planned anti-strike laws must be changed.

The ILO, a UN agency, has been charged with defending the right to strike worldwide since 1948.
Nautilus strongly opposes the government's Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, which is in its final stages in Parliament. It would give the Secretary of State sweeping powers to restrict the right to strike of maritime professionals, preventing them from engaging in legitimate action in pursuit of fair pay and working conditions. It could also result in workers being sacked for taking strike action that has been agreed in a democratic ballot.

The ILO intervention followed a complaint by the TUC. It has said that the legislation must be in conformity with international rules on freedom of association and that the government must seek technical assistance from the ILO.

Nautilus is also in favour of the ILO's further conclusion that the UK government should allow unions to electronically ballot workers, which would make the balloting process far more practical with regard to maritime professionals.