Trade Union Rights' Publications

The Trade Disputes Act 1906

By Jim Mortimer

Published in April 2005

The 1906 Trade Disputes Act was a watershed in trade union history. It came at a time when trade unions were under attack from employers and the courts and when previously gained rights were being lost.

The Act provided a statutory right to peaceful picketing and repealed the precedent set by the Taff Vale railwaymen case, (1900) which made trade unions liable for damages caused during a strike. It also restored the principle of immunity against ‘civil conspiracy’ – a legal concept used to prevent workers taking collective action.

In short the 1906 Act put the sting back in the tail of the labour movement. As Jim Mortimer says the Act was both a landmark and an achievement in the history of British trade unionism and compares very favourably with what exists today.

What is the Warwick Agreement?

Edited by Carolyn Jones

Published in January 2005

As we approach the next general election, the Institute of Employment Rights has what trade unions expect to see in a third term Labour Party manifesto. With no less than 6 trade union General Secretaries contributing to the report, it is perhaps the most up to date and informed document on what is commonly referred to as the Warwick Agreement – an accord reached between new Labour and the unions on a future policy programme.

 

The Future of Company Law: Fat Cats, Corporate Governance and Workers

By Bill Wedderburn

Published in October 2004

All too often we hear news stories about “fat cat” employers paying themselves huge pay increases along with massive bonus packages. The CBI claim that the problem is “confined to a few instances”. The TUC on the other hand call this a “crisis in the legitimacy of capitalism”. However described, what is certain is the discrepancy in pay is fuelling the general inequality apparent in our society.

Unfair Labour Practices: Trade Union Recognition and Employer Resistance

By Keith Ewing, Sian Moore and Stephen Wood

Published in October 2003

On 6th June 2000 a new statutory recognition procedure came into force. The stated aim of the legislation was to ensure that where a trade union has the support of more than 50 per cent of the workforce, it should be recognised by the employer. Three years on, the Institute of Employment Rights has analysed the case-work of the Central Arbitration Committee – the body overseeing the procedure – and examined the extent to which the procedure has delivered on the recognition promise.

Moving Forward on the Railways

By Professor Keith Ewing

Published in July 2003

This publication was commissioned from the Institute of Employment Rights by the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF).

Federation News - Protecting and Promoting International Labour Standards

Edited by John Hendy and Carolyn Jones

Published in May 2003

There could surely not be a more appropriate time to consider how best to promote, protect and extend international law than now amidst the anguish of war. This edition of Federation News focuses specifically on standards relating to the rights of trade unions and their members.

John Hendy, QC begins by highlighting the UK’s shameful defiance of international standards. He argues that such behaviour should not simply be seen as an item for discussion at trade union education courses. Rather recognising and upholding international standards should form the central argument for repealing and replacing the worst aspects of UK laws. He puts forward a number of strategies for improving the situation, both at national and international level and urges trade unions to pursue them all.

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