An essay on the future of trade unions

This measure is also notable, as while new regulations have not been introduced to restrict facility time, it is a sweeping power granted to the government, and maybe use extensively in the future. Other changes include new powers to be granted to the certification officer to allow them a greater level of power when investigating trade unions for potential breaches of their statutory duties, as well as increasing the powers to take action against those trade unions Trade Union Act Other changes which were proposed, but have been abandoned, include the reinstatement of regulations that will allow employers to take on agency staff at the time of strike.

Notably, this act covers the entire United Kingdom, including Scotland and Wales, as trade union law is not devolved Brodies, Members of Parliament and both Scotland and Wales were highly vocal against this act, but it was still past. Overall, the act may be seen as creating a much stronger bias in shifting the power away from unions towards employees.

Trade Union in the UK – The WritePass Journal : The WritePass Journal

During the early days of unions, their power resided with their ability to represent their members, and redress the asymmetry of power which has existed between employees and employers; where an employer was able to exert a high level of power, including unfair treatment Laybourn, However, the power of the unions has been subsided from some time, particularly following the long coalmine strikes during the s, which were highly unpopular with the public Laybourn, The act makes a significant changes, and moves very strongly away from powers of the union, biasing the relationship towards employees.

Within any workplace, maybe argued that an employer is always in a position of strength, they have the ability to hire and fire employees, set terms and conditions, and dictate the way in which the employment relationship operates. The employers are required to abide by the law, whether it is health and safety, terms and conditions, or minimum payment issues and hours, but the way this is enforced is through the employer undertaking a wrong action, which is then questioned by the employee.

While unions are powerful, and there is an ability for the group voice to be used to support their rights, employees have a greater level of power. By reducing the powers of the trade unions, the act is reducing the powers of the unions in a number of ways, increasing burdens in terms of administration, operations and costs, while reducing their ability to access resources.

By examining the way in which the new act may impact on a past dispute, there is a clear indication of the impact on both the employer and the trade union. By examining this is possible see the difficulties, and the increased pressures that will be placed on trade unions to garner sufficient support, especially when many members may be ambivalent to the potential action if they have no direct interest in it.

Conversely, this case clearly demonstrates the way in which Virgin Trains may have benefited from the new act if it had been in place during their dispute, as it would have been much less likely they would have faced industrial action, and there were also legal approaches which could be adopted to try avoid industrial action, or simply use court action as a way of delaying it.

The criticism of this is not only the increased difficulty, but the way in which it may be argued as contravening the European Convention on Human Rights McFarlane, The European Convention on Human Rights, particularly article 11, are relevant to this, as this requires freedom of association, and places a positive obligation on the UK government. Overall, there is a shift in power from trade unions towards employees, and a shift in the burdens associated with administering and supporting union workers away from employers towards the trade unions. It is highly likely that under the new measures there will be far fewer official industrial action is taking place, while trade unions will also face increased costs associated with the ongoing operations.

Trade unions may find they need to undertake more aggressive marketing and demonstrate the way in which they can work for their members, while employers may simply choose to encourage non-union membership, and ambivalence towards voting.

Booth, A. The Economics of the Trade Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bowers, J.

Solidarity Forever: Talking Transition with Trade Unions

Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bracci, E. Public sector accounting, accountability and austerity: more than balancing the books? Brodies, The Trade Union Act what is changing? Ewing, K. The Eclipse of the Rule of Law? Industrial Law Journal , 45 3 , pp.

Lane, J. Industrial Law Journal , 46 1 , pp. Laybourn, K. A History of British Trade Unionism, c. London: Sutton Publishing.

Liberty, Campaigning on the Trade Union Act McFarlane, P. How the Trade Union Act will change the rules on industrial action. People Management. Moss, R. Trade Union Act becomes law. Personnel Today. Taylor-Gooby, P.

The Divisive Welfare State. Social Policy Administration , 50 6 , pp.

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Trade Union Act Wrigley, C. British Trade Unions Since Trade Union Act of Essay. Last Edited: December 19, Tags: trade union act united kingdom. Critical Evaluation of the Impact of the Trade Union Act on Trade Unions and Employers On the 4th of May , the controversial Trade Union Act received royal assent, changing the way in which Unions can operate, curtailing many of their powers in a move that has been argued as reducing union power Ewing and Hendy, Changes to Balloting The changes have impacted the way balloting takes place, these increase the requirements on the union, and make it harder to obtain a vote in favour of taking action.

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Picketing Where there has been a vote for action, picketing can only take place if it was detailed on the ballot as a course of action. Facility Time Facility time is the time allowed to union representatives to undertake union business within their time of employment; effectively being paid by the employer while working for the union. These include the requirement to publish informational facility time, including the amount of paid time off utilised for the activities and duties associated with the union Trade Union Act A notable inclusion is the empowerment of the government to issue regulations that will place restrictions on the amount of facility time allowed with particular employers Trade Union Act Other Changes Other changes include new powers to be granted to the certification officer to allow them a greater level of power when investigating trade unions for potential breaches of their statutory duties, as well as increasing the powers to take action against those trade unions Trade Union Act Discussion Notably, this act covers the entire United Kingdom, including Scotland and Wales, as trade union law is not devolved Brodies, Works Cited Page Booth, A.

Student Network Resources Inc, 5 May. Latest Chicago Format 16th edition Copy Reference. Student Network Resources Inc. Citizen Essay. II- Main Orientation of the Course In spite of the impressive profile of the college, much of the potential, objectives and activities have not been fully realized. In fact, during the late s the college experienced steady deterioration, both in terms of physical structures and provision of training services. Following extensive refurbishment and rehabilitation in the beginning of the millennium, the college assumed a higher level of visibility.

The new trade union leadership of COTU K has been committed to upgrade the physical infrastructure needs of the college and promote the original mandate and key functional and organisational performance. It is now the intention of the college to maintain its distinctive character of being a trade union learning centre. The launch of the Diploma course is a first and concrete step towards re-orienting the college to its original and intended character. The course is intended as a first step towards making the college to effectively enhance its operational capacity and organisational capability and be able to improve and sustain its proposed training programmes.

It is assumed that by providing a reasonably quality service, the college will be able to attract a sufficiently and diversified group of trade union participants to use its facilities. Therefore, besides the supportive and catalytic role of the proposed financial input the derived net benefits will include, among others, improved credibility and competitiveness of the college as well as self sustainability in material and financial resources.

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Some of the changes are as a result of wider shifts in the political and economic spheres. Quite clearly the democratisation process that has taken place in Africa and the globalisation of the world economy have had major impacts on the trade unions and how they function. It is now imperative that trade unionists must be fully informed about different aspects of life affecting them not only at the place of work, but in the wider community of nations. It is with this in view that COTU K proposes that the college organises a comprehensive or core programme throughout the year.

The current proposed course is meant to be a pilot for virtually all the aspects of trade union activities to be offered at the college. As such, on successful completion of the proposed course, the college will also provide full and comprehensive facilities for individual trade unions, COTU K and others, including international trade union organisations, and the ILO, seeking to run other courses.

Do Trade Unions Have a Future in Australia

Other programme under consideration will include: Planning and administration of trade unions; Collective bargaining; Organizing and recruitment; Trade union rights; Gender perspectives; Research; Economics; Co-operative movement; Job evaluation; Population and family welfare issues; Financial management. To realise these educational plans the college will aggressively pursue a marketing oriented strategy, but still maintains its unique characteristics towards building an independent, free and democratic trade union movement. This certificate course is designed primarily for trade union representatives at the enterprise level — the key link between the workplace and the wider union.

The course is intended to help students understand the early, present and potential role of trade unions in social and economic development, and to develop values and skills needed for higher level study or activism. The course may be used to gain access to Higher or Further Education diploma or degree course.