Wales politics

New law plan to lift union strike restrictions in Wales

Demonstrators holding placards in London Image copyright EPA

A new law removing restrictions on public sector strikes is being proposed by the Welsh Government.

The UK government's Trade Union Act has rules that means action affecting key services will only be allowed if backed by 40% of eligible voters in a ballot.

But Welsh Labour's assembly election manifesto in May included a promise to repeal changes affecting devolved services such as health and education.

BBC Wales understands it is one of six bills set to be introduced this year.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has said he will try to pass a Welsh law on strikes, even if it results in another Supreme Court battle with the UK government over where responsibility lies.

A UK government spokesman said: "The Trade Union Act relates to employment rights, duties and industrial relations, all of which are clearly reserved matters for the UK parliament under the Welsh devolution settlement."

E-cigarettes

A leaked letter, written by a UK government minister, indicated legal advice suggested there was a "very weak case" that politicians in Westminster have the power over provisions in the Trade Union Act relating to Wales.

Mr Jones previously said a public health bill would be tabled again but would not include plans to ban e-cigarettes in some public places.

The original version of public health bill failed to pass on the last day of the previous assembly after a row between Labour and Plaid Cymru.

It is also expected the Welsh Government's legislative programme will include plans to scrap the right-to-buy scheme in a bid to protect the stock of social housing.

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