It's as if the referee in a football match where the Government was not winning decided at half-time that the unions' side should suddenly be reduced to nine men. And of course it helps if the Government also claims to be the referee.
Ministers have taken part in high-level discussions on how to change strike laws should a surge in industrial action threaten to disrupt the economy and future international events, including Wimbledon and next year's Olympics.
There are no plans to alter strike laws, ministers say, but they would reconsider should industrial action get out of hand. Speaking after two teaching unions signalled their members would strike on 30 June, Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister leading negotiations with the unions, said that legislation "had not been ruled out".
The strike rules were set down (or inspired) by the Tories. But when they don't seem likely to deliver a win for the Tories, then of course the rules have to be changed.