Legal changes which would allow agency workers to fill in for striking staff in a move to guard the public against disruption are being considered by the Government.
It is understood Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has not ruled out the option, which comes as travellers and commuters face chaos on the railways and London Underground due to widespread industrial action.
Train drivers are to strike over pay and more rail workers are to be balloted for industrial action in growing disputes in the industry, with the potential of huge travel disruption in the coming weeks.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, the changes would involve reversing a restriction which prevents employers from hiring agency workers to cover for striking staff and would apply to all sectors.
Mr Shapps told the newspaper any legal intervention would not affect “this particular set of strikes” in June, but if the action continues then “further measures certainly would come in during this particular dispute, if it can’t be resolved”.
He added: “I’ll be saying more about this. But we will be looking at the full suite of modernisation that’s required.
“The country must not continue to be held to ransom. These strikes are incredibly premature and we will use every possible lever to ensure that the public is protected in the future in particular.
“I can’t over-stress our determination to get the right outcome for the travelling public in the end on this, even if the unions insist on putting the country through considerable pain in the meantime.”