Wales politics

Carwyn Jones threatens to defy Trade Union Bill

A union member wearing an arm band on a picket line Image copyright PA

Welsh ministers could introduce Welsh laws on public sector strikes even if it means a Supreme Court fight with the UK government, the first minister says.

It the latest stage of a bitter row over UK ministers' Trade Union Bill.

Welsh ministers want some clauses removed - including a required 40% turnout of members to make a public sector strike ballot valid.

They say the reforms involve devolved services such as the NHS, although employment law is not devolved.

Carwyn Jones told AMs on Tuesday that the Welsh government could put that issue to the test in the courts.

"If it comes to the point where that bill is passed, and its provisions are applied to devolved public services, we will seek to introduce a bill in this chamber to overturn the sections of the bill that impact on devolved areas," he said.

"It's a matter for the UK government if they then want to go to the Supreme Court in order to frustrate the will of this democratically elected assembly."

UK ministers have said they want to ensure that essential services are not disrupted at short notice by strikes supported by a small proportion of union members.

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