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LEGAL UPDATE – Union busters not welcome in the UK says TUC

Union busters not welcome in the UK says TUC 

Tactics used by US employers to keep unions out of the workplace are being increasingly used in the UK as employers here begin to hire firms of union-busting consultants to persuade their workers against the benefits of union membership, according to a TUC report published this month.  

The report, US Union Avoidance Consultants: A Threat to the Rights of British Workers, has been written by Dr John Logan from the London School of Economics. It says that union busting is a multi-billion dollar business in the US and consultants from firms such as the Burke Group and Jackson Lewis have been so successful that despite some 60m Americans saying that they would like to join a union, membership currently stands at just 7.5% of the US workforce. 

The report says that the tactics used by union busters are designed to frighten workers away from any union attempt to recruit them. Consultants hired by employers warn the workforce that the union will endanger their job security, cause them to lose earnings and that joining a union will result in them being permanently on strike and under threat of violence if they join any picket line. 

Although union busting is still relatively uncommon in the UK, the report warns British unions not to take their eye off the ball even though the law in the UK is much stricter on employers that violate workers’ rights. 

US Union Avoidance Consultants: A Threat to the Rights of British Workers is available at http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/loganreport.pdf 

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