On 26 April 2011, Tory MP Dominic Raab proposed a bill aiming to ban strike action in the emergency and transport service sectors unless a majority of employees in the unionised workforce had voted in favour of such action.
He claimed that union leaders had caused "immense damage" to the UK economy, with over a million working days lost between 2002 and 2007 because of strike action.
Despite new legislation, Britain was "episodically held hostage by a vocal minority led by militant union bosses", he said.
At present, it is possible to call a strike if the majority of those who vote in a ballot are in favour of walking out.
Mr Raab's Industrial Relations (Voting Procedures) motion would have required union leaders in the emergency services and transport sectors to garner at least 50% of all members' support.
But MPs pushed the bill to a vote, and it was rejected by 171 to 121, a majority of 50, at first reading.