Union Busting - History - Great Britain

Great Britain

Following the repeal of the Combination Laws in 1824, workers were no longer prohibited from forming organizations or collective bargaining, although significant restrictions remained. In 1832 the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers was formed in Dorset to challenge declining wages (members of the organization agreed to only work for wages of a set amount). In 1834 a landlord complained about the group and key members were subsequently charged and convicted under laws prohibiting the swearing of secret oaths and sentenced to seven years penal transportation to Australia. This sentence invoked a movement to defend the members, who were released in 1836 and 1837. The workers became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs in reference to the village where the organization began and their treatment.

Presently, UK labor laws are defined within the Employment Relations Act 1999 and the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. There is no right to strike in UK law. But one of the most significant cases of mass-dismissals in the UK was in 2005 which involved the sacking of over 600 Gate Gourmet workers at Heathrow Airport was viewed as a union busting tactic and caused a great deal of media scrutiny and outrage. The BBC Reported that "Gate Gourmet sacked more than 600 staff last week in a working practices row, prompting a walkout by British Airways ground staff that paralysed flights and stranded thousands of travellers" in the UK. The BBC additionally reported that Andy Cook, Gate Gourmet's director of human resources at that time, said "the company had not been looking to cut the size of the protests, only stop the minority engaged in harassment." Cooke continues to direct labor relations activities from his U.K. labor relations consultancy.

In the UK and EU, trade union opposition may occur during automatic recognition campaigns and ballot elections. Workers with individual and/or different union memberships working for the same employer may oppose a union to which they do not belong which is seeking recognition without a ballot for purposes of controlling collective bargaining at their place of employment. Workers in the UK working for the same employer may have different union memberships that they retain job to job. Although the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and their member trade unions oppose use of consultancies during recognition campaigns calling it a union busting tactic, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service or Acas promotes that "Employee communications and consultation are the lifeblood of any business. Consultation is the process by which management and employees or their representatives jointly examine and discuss issues of mutual concern. It involves seeking acceptable solutions to problems through a genuine exchange of views and information. Consultation does not remove the right of managers to manage – they must still make the final decision – but it does impose an obligation that the views of employees will be sought and considered before decisions are taken".

The Arbitration, Conciliation and Arbitration Service abbreviated Acas, is the UK government's independent agency for advice and conciliation. which "aims to improve organizations and working life through better employment relations".

Derecognition of a trade union may be referred to as union busting by trade unions although it is legal. Derecognition must be accomplished according to statutory guidelines. Workers may derecognize a union which no longer has support from members in the bargaining unit; also if a union memberhship falls below 50%. Employers may derecognize a union if they no longer have 21 or more workers. If the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) accepts an application and the union in question has either lost support or the membership level falls below 50% of the workers, the CAC can declare that a derecognition ballot be held."

Read more about this topic:  Union Busting, History

Other articles related to "great britain":

Legal History Of Scotland - Great Britain
... The Act of Union 1707 unified the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England to form Great Britain ... of Scotland with the Parliament of England to form the Parliament of Great Britain, with its seat in the Palace of Westminster, London ... The Parliament of Great Britain was now unrestricted in altering laws concerning public right, policy and civil government, but concerning private right, only alterations for the evident ...
Great Britain - Settlements - Other Major Cities
... The largest cities in Great Britain by urban area population (not including the capital cities listed above) are Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Coventry ...
Squad Number (association Football) - In Club Football - Great Britain
... Most European top leagues adopted the system over the next five years ... The Football League introduced squad numbers in 1999, and the Football Conference followed suit three years later. ...

Famous quotes containing the word britain:

    It is crystal clear to me that if Arabs put down a draft resolution blaming Israel for the recent earthquake in Iran it would probably have a majority, the U.S. would veto it and Britain and France would abstain.
    Amos Oz (b. 1939)

    I’ll stay until I’m tired of it. So long as Britain needs me, I shall never be tired of it.
    Margaret Thatcher (b. 1925)