Protect the right to strike: kill the bill

Submitted by beth on Tue, 08/09/2015 - 12:55

by Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC

Published September 2015

The Trade Union Bill has now passed its second reading and the government is attempting to rush it through parliamentary procedures. Here two leading experts on trade union rights –Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC – publish a short but comprehensive overview of the Trade Union Bill and its implications.

About the book

Protect the Right to Strike: Kill the Bill published by IER and the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom, is an essential tool for trade unionists hoping to defeat the proposals in the Bill. The publication provides a straightforward analysis of the contents of the Bill, explaining the ideological intentions behind them and the consequences they will have on employment rights and trade union freedoms should the Bill be passed.

According to the authors, the Bill has three particular features:

  • The first is to single out public sector trade unionism for particular assault as part of a strategy to suppress organised resistance to the destruction of public services and the imposition of cuts to pay and jobs.
  • The second is to undermine collective bargaining by introducing yet more restrictions to the right to strike, the cumulative impact of which will be to allow wholly unfettered management prerogative, with collective bargaining reduced to collective begging
  • The third is to silence the political voice of the organised working class, building on the Gagging Act 2014, to ensure unions have limited resources available to offer political resistance to the government.

The authors characterise the Bill as “a full frontal assault on the industrial and political freedoms of the trade union movement, a strategic part of the government’s austerity policy….and an authoritarian announcement of the Tories utter contempt for civil liberties and human rights”.

They conclude by saying that the measures in this Bill will not be defeated in court rooms or lecture theatres but in political and industrial arenas.

Whilst stocks last!

Free to subscribers

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Copies available to buy

If you are not a subscriber but would like to purchase copies of the publication for meetings, schools or other events, you can obtain 5 copies for £10 or one copy for £5 by

  • contacting or
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    Are you a member of a Trade Union?

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