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Volume 704: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 16 June (WA 139), whether any legislative changes in United Kingdom or European law since 1 May 1997 have affected the rights of workers to strike.[HL5304]

Since 1 May 1997, industrial action law in the United Kingdom has been amended by the Employment Relations Act 1999 and by the Employment Relations Act 2004, and these changes have affected the rights of workers to take strike action. For example, these Acts strengthened the rights of employees not to be dismissed on the grounds of taking lawfully organised, official industrial action. There have been no EU legislative changes during this period concerning the rights of workers to strike, including changes proposed under the treaty of Lisbon, which provides that existing rights and principles recorded in the Charter of Fundamental Rights will continue to have effect as they always have done on EU institutions and member states when implementing EU law. The charter creates no new enforceable rights.