UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Carr Review - a stunt or fast track to new anti union laws?

On Friday the UK Government’s announcement that the Carr Review into industrial relations (launched 5 months ago following the Grangemouth dispute) would focus narrowly on union tactics rather than wider issues such as employer blacklisting of trade unionists as originally envisaged. This led TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady to once again dismiss the review as a ‘headline grabbing party-political stunt’.
    However, Carr’s terms of reference - which are to ‘provide an assessment of the alleged use of extreme tactics in industrial disputes and the effectiveness of the existing legal framework to prevent inappropriate or intimidatory actions’ - appear to be leading directly to new anti union laws in particular a clamping down on protest by workers to win wider community and political support. Coming hard on the heels of the Lobbying Act which according to David Cameron was expressly intended to stifle union influence in general elections, this review could well result in further draconian restrictions on the freedom of expression for trade unions in the UK. There are no grounds for complacency.