Monday, 16 June 2014

Collective bargaining 'essential to the survival of the trade union movement'

#uLGC14 In an inspiring presentation Professor Keith Ewing of Kings College London yesterday called for union members to demand of the politicians seeking our vote, a commitment to renew, rebuild and restore collective bargaining structures “to raise wages and restore fairness at work. “

This is “essential to the survival of the trade union movement,” he said.

Since the 1980s the numbers of members covered by collective bargaining has reduced from 82% to only 23%, with very significant consequences for the impact and influence that the unions can have over members’ contractual and employment rights. None of the other original EU countries are under 70% covered by collective bargaining.

Professor Ewing laid out a set of demands, including the establishment of a Government department, a Ministry of Labour, to ensure that the interests of working people are represented in Cabinet; an increase the coverage of collective bargaining to above 50%; and legal effect for collective agreements to ensure compliance.

“Our message to those seeking our vote must be to insist that a future government that they will be part of, complies with the international legal obligations of this country and guarantees that every worker will have a right to be protected by a return to collective bargaining.”

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