THE Tories' proposed anti-strike laws "sound like slavery" as it forces people to work against their will, a Green Party peer has said. 

The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill would see ministers set a minimum level of service that must be delivered during industrial action by workers in essential services like the NHS, fire and rescue, transport and education.

The law would allow employers to issue work notices on strike days, naming workers who would be required to work in order to meet the minimum service level, and be able to fire them if they ignore the notice.

Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb said in the House of Lords: “I don’t know, it sounds like slavery to me.

READ MORE: Tory anti-strike law 'will breach European human rights rules', MPs warn

“Is this not what it is, when you force people to work against their will?

“The Government proposes that this is done by employers writing out a list of workers’ names who must turn up and work on a strike day…

“So this legislation drags the workers in, forces them into a temporary state of servitude and that goes against every single common law principle, contract law and environmental rights in this country.”

She added that if the next government wanted “any sort of involvement with the Green Party”, they have committed to repealing this legislation, if it passes, and all other union legislation since Margaret Thatcher’s government.

Tory peer Baroness Noakes responded: “I don’t think anybody would want to encourage the participation of the Green Party in any government, so I don’t think her ideas will go very far.”

Their comments came as the upper chamber conducted a detailed line-by-line scrutiny of the controversial bill.

READ MORE: Tory anti-strike bill a 'blatant attack' on devolution, says Stephen Flynn 

Earlier, defending the bill in the face of criticism, Government minister Lord Callanan said: “There needs to be a reasonable balance between the ability of workers to strike and the rights of the public, who work hard and expect their essential services, which they pay for through their taxes, to be there when they need them.

“The minimum service levels aim to restore this balance in order to protect the lives and livelihoods of the public from disproportionate impacts and results of strike action.

“This important protection should be afforded, in our view, to members of the public without delay.”