HL Deb 18 July 1996 vol 574 cc71-2WA
Lord Orr-Ewing

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will arrange that when a trade union representing public services calls a strike the voting figures and the percentage voting are made public.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie)

The law on industrial action ballots does not distinguish between different types of union. All trade unions which hold such ballots are required to notify those who were entitled to vote, and their employers, of the number of:

  1. (a) votes cast in the ballot;
  2. (b) individuals answering "Yes" to the required question(s);
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  4. (c) individual answering "No" to the required questions; and
  5. (d) spoiled voting papers.

In addition, the statutory Code of Practice on Industrial Action and Notice to Employers recommends that unions should include with the above the number of voting papers issued.

The law further requires that before giving the seven-day notice to employers of intended industrial action, unions must have taken the required steps to notify them of the ballot results details. The code of practice also recommends that unions publicise ballot results and check that relevant employers have received and understood them. The Government do not consider it necessary to extend these arrangements at present.