Picketing and the Trade Union Bill: Written Evidence

The legal evidence to demonsttate the new picketing rules in the Trade Union Bill is a violation of the right to freedom of association.

Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC submitted supplementary written evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, following their initial submission on the Bill in November 2015.

The experts cited the argument of Conservative MP David Davis, who identified the new picketing rules in the Bill as a violation of the right to freedom of association, and provided the legal evidence to support his claim.

For instance, there is no provision in the Bill to protect the personal information of picket supervisors once it has been given to the police, which could potentially put union activists at risk of blacklisting.

Ewing and Hendy also warn that if union activists become feel intimidated and are reticent to volunteer as picket supervisors, this could have a chilling effect on industrial action as a whole, weakening workers’ rights.