Recognition in Respect of Bargaining in the United Kingdom: Collective Autonomy and Political Neutrality in Context
Exploring Collective Bargaining, B. Creighton and A. Forsyth, eds., Routledge, 2012
Posted: 11 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2012
Statutory recognition procedures reflect legislative choices. In collective labour relations, however, legislators never start with a blank canvas. In the UK context, the concepts of political neutrality and collective autonomy are deeply inscribed into the historical fabric of industrial relations. These concepts continue to exercise a significant influence on recent attempts to legislate for statutory union recognition – operating alongside a continuing commitment to a policy of restriction, whereby the state promotes 'responsible' trade union activity by curtailing recourse to social sanctions. It is argued that this has led to a 'failure of politics' rather than a 'failure of law' in assessing the efficacy of legal support for collective bargaining in the UK.
Keywords: Labour law, industrial relations, union recognition, trade union activity, collective bargaining
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