Union avoidance consultants

A rhetorical question posed in The Guardian (G2) today: Should we be worried that aggressive 'union-avoidance' consultancies are increasingly at work in the UK?

The article that surrounds the question comments on nothing new, except there is a sense if read it through until the end that 'union-avoidance' in the UK is more of an issue than previously considered.

Here are some of the tactics that union-avoidance consultants are said to deploy (note: some may sound ridiculous, but they are nearly 100 per cent effective):

- Taking a £80 donation to a Cuba Solidarity Campaign, a reputable organisation, equates to "Your subscription bankrolls one-party communist states."
- Employees repeatedly told that the arrival of a union will inevitably result in conflict, confrontation and strike action, with a consequent loss of earnings, and that collective bargaining can in any case often lead to lower pay.
- Plying workers with bumper stickers with a huge red tick to the no box, lollipops on a stick printed with the refrain "Unions suck", bags of "Union free" popcorn, and sponges that say "Don't get soaked for union dues - vote no!"
- Videos depicting a long and lurid history of evil union ways, and cartoon postcards showing a drawing of a big fat cat, a lighted cigar in its mouth and its paw pointing directly out at you. "This is your union," reads the caption.

There is far more to the article and well worth a view if this subject is of interest to you - Divide and rule by Jon Henley and Ed Pilkington.

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