"Extreme tactics" in industrial disputes - report makes no recommendations despite calls to ban "secondary protesting".
17 October 2014
On 16 October 2014, Bruce Carr QC`s report setting out the findings of his Independent Review into the Law Governing Industrial Disputes was published. The review was launched following allegations of intimidation of managers by union representatives during the Grangemouth oil refinery dispute. The scope of the review was scaled back in April 2014 due to concerns on the part of Bruce Carr that it was not possible to gather sufficient evidence because of the progressively politicised environment. The scaled-back review assesses the alleged use of extreme tactics in industrial disputes and outlined the existing legal framework, but does not make proposals and recommendations for any changes to the law.
Although the report does not make any recommendations, there are some interesting suggested changes to the law proposed by contributors to the review, including:
- clarification the difference between picketing and protest.
- prohibiting employees from protesting anywhere other than at or near their place of work (“secondary protesting”) in addition to the ban on secondary picketing.
- a code of practice on the use of leverage tactics.
- legal protection for non-striking workers against intimidation and harassment.
- increasing the current cap on trade liability to reflect changes since the last increase in 1982.
- requiring unions to take greater responsibility for the use of leverage tactics, including its repudiation, mirroring the requirements for unions to repudiate unofficial industrial action.
- clarification of the law on repudiation of unofficial industrial action.
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