HC Deb 11 February 1982 vol 17 c431W
Q11. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Prime Minister whether she will introduce legislation to provide for a national referendum to be held on all national industrial disputes affecting 1,000 or more workers to ascertain the views of the electorate on the dispute before a strike is called.

The Prime Minister

The Government are anxious to promote trade union democracy by providing funds for unions voluntarily to hold ballots before taking strike action. When we asked for views on strike ballots, in the Green Paper on trade union immunities last year, most of those who responded agreed with the Government that a voluntary approach was best.

I do not think a referendum, where the issue at stake might have to be over-simplified to allow for a plain "Yes" or "No" answer, would be appropriate.