The reality of the Employment Relations Act 1999

Probably the most important piece of trade union-related legislation since the end of four clear anti-union Conservative governments (1979 to 1997) - The Employment Relations Act 1999 (Fairness at Work) - is probably being exposed now more than ever as a sham.

In An unfair fight (The Guardian) Phil Chamberlain and Rich Cookson investigate the reality of legislation meant to redress workplace imbalance fostered by a long line of Conservative legislation.

A snippet of the article is as follows:

"Since 2000, when new laws enshrined unions' right to collective bargaining, some high-profile firms in the UK have been fighting hard, sometimes dirty, campaigns. Anti-union tactics include summarily firing union activists, threatening to move jobs abroad, attempting to have organisers arrested, mailing anti-union literature to employees' homes and calling in consultants to help plan and execute union-busting campaigns."

Corporations mentioned as being anti-union are TRW, Asda-Walmart, Amazon, Europackaging UK Ltd, T-Mobile, and Sky.

If the article is to be taken at face value it seems that the legislation has nurtured ruthless anti-union tactics rather fairness in the form of a worker's right to third-party and collective representation.

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