Trade unions could be allowed to ballot for industrial action using e-mail instead of the post, making strikes easier and cheaper to organise, under plans being considered by the government.
Buried in the detail of the Department of Trade and Industry's regulatory simplification plan, announced yesterday, are plans to allow 'non-postal balloting'.
The plans states: "Use of alternative balloting methods should make it easier for individual trade unionists to participate in these ballots and reinforce union democracy".
Business groups reacted with dismay to the news.
James Walsh, of the Institute of Directors, told the Times: "Business leaders would be concerned if the outcome of this exercise was a strengthening of trade union rights."
Susan Anderson, director of HR policy at the CBI, told the paper the plan "should not be treated as a way of pursuing other agendas".