Trade Union Bill Not Backed By Evidence

killthebill badgeLetter in The Guardian, August 17th.

As academics in the field of industrial relations, we express our concern at the draconian provisions of the trade union bill which amount to the most sustained attack on trade union and workers’ rights since the Combination laws of the early 19th century. In addition to minimum thresholds that seriously curtail the possibility of legitimate strike action, the bill also attacks the ability of unions to represent their members (via facility time) and raise subscriptions (through employer check-off) from members, among a battery of other restrictive measures.

The rationale for the bill is perverse. Trade unions in Britain are not too strong, but too weak. They provide an important voice for the expression and protection of workers’ terms and conditions of employment, and are a countervailing force against the excesses of employer power. They can also contribute to innovation, skills-upgrading and workplace performance. Given the fact the UK labour market is already one of the most flexible and least regulated in the global economy, evidence in support of the benefits of the bill is seriously wanting.

By further undermining the collective bargaining power of unions it will feed into the labour market by increasing endemic low pay and insecure terms and conditions of employment among non-unionised workers.

Instead, the government should be looking more seriously at how to engage and involve the British workforce and its representatives in rebuilding the UK economy and raising productivity through fairer and more supportive rights for workers.

Professor Mark Stuart President, British Universities Industrial Relations Association, University of Leeds 
Professor Ralph Darlington Salford Business School, University of Salford 
Professor Jane Holgate, Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change, Leeds University Business School
Professor Philip Taylor Vice dean, Strathclyde Business School 
Professor Keith Ewing Professor of public law, Kings College London 
Professor Edmund Heery Professor of employment relations, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University 
Professor Stephanie Tailby Centre for Employment Studies Research, University of the West of England
Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio Manchester University Business School 
Professor Steve Vincent Head of leadership, work and organisations, Newcastle University Business School 
Dr Stephen Mustchin University of Manchester
Dr Andrew Smith Bradford University School of Management
Professor Hazel Conley Centre for Employment Studies Research (CESR), Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England 
Dr Daniel King Nottingham Trent University 
Professor Sonia McKay Visiting professor, Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England
Professor Stephen Bach Department of Management, King’s College London 
Professor Tony Dundon School of Business and Economics, National University of Ireland Galway 
Dr Sophie Gamwell Middlesex University 
Dave Smith TUC tutor, College of North East London 
Professor Gregor Gall Professor of industrial relations, School of Management, University of Bradford 
Professor Geraldine Healy Queen Mary University of London 
Dr Peter Scott Senior lecturer in employment relations, University of Portsmouth
Dr Ioulia Bessa Leeds University Business School 
Dr Eugene Hickland National University of Ireland Galway 
Dr Douglas Martin University of Central Lancashire 
Dr Judie Gannon Oxford Brookes University 
Dr Jo McBride Newcastle University Business School 
Professor Stephen Linstead Director, Centre for the Study of Working Lives, York Management School, University of York 
Dr Ian Roper Associate professor, Middlesex University 
Dr Jo Grady University of Leicester 
Dr Marco Hauptmeier Reader in comparative employment relations, Cardiff University 
David Wray Senior visiting research fellow, University of Hertfordshire Business School 
Dr Anna Paraskevopoulou Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University 
Dr Ian Greenwood Leeds University Business School 
Professor Melanie Simms School of Management, University of Leicester
Dr Tessa Wright School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London 
Dr Steve Williams Reader in employment relations, University of Portsmouth 
Dr Anthony McDonnell Reader in management, Queen’s University Belfast 
Dr Zinovijus Ciupiijus Leeds University Business School 
Dr Priscilla Ross Co-operative College 
Dr Vera Trappmann Leeds University Business School 
Caroline Holmes Programme coordinator BA international labour and trade unions studies, Ruskin College, Oxford 
Dr Stewart Johnstone Newcastle University 
Professor Greg Bamber Visiting professor, Newcastle University Business School 
Dr Graham Symon Principal lecturer in human resources and organisational behaviour, University of Greenwich 
Dr Zedias Mutema Staffordshire University 
John Kimberley Associate professor, Birmingham City University Business School 
Professor Andreas Bieler Professor of political economy, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham 
Dr Elizabeth Lawrence Principal lecturer in sociology, Sheffield Hallam University 
Professor Jim Arrowsmith Associate fellow, Industrial Relations Research Unit, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick 
Dr Paul Smith Honorary research fellow, Keele University 
Sue Ledwith Emerita scholar international labour and trade union studies, Ruskin College 
Professor Linda Clarke Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment (ProBE), University of Westminster 
Professor Ian Greer University of Greenwich Business School 
Dr Kate Hardy Leeds University Business School 
Dr Fernando Duran-Palma Westminster Business School, University of Westminster 
Professor Damian Grimshaw Professor of employment studies, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester; and director, European Work and Employment Research Centre 
Dr Anne McBride Senior lecturer in employment studies, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester 
Dr Deborah Dean Industrial Relations Research Unit, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick 
Professor Chris Forde Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change, Leeds University Business School 
Chris McLachlan Postgraduate researcher, Leeds University Business School 
Andy Charlwood Professor of human resource management, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University
Dr Susan Sayce Senior lecturer, University of East Anglia 
Dr Alf Crossman Surrey Business School, University of Surrey 
Jane Lethbridge Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Greenwich 
Cecilie Bingham Principal lecturer in employee relations, University of Westminster 
Duncan Adam Industrial Relations Research Unit Warwick Business School
Professor Phil Almond Professor of comparative employment relations, De Montford University 
Dr Andreas Kornelakis Lecturer in human resource management, School of Business, Management & Economics University of Sussex 
Katy Huxley Research Officer, Cardiff University 
Professor Anne-marie Greene De Montfort University 
Dr Whyeda Gill-Mclure University of Wolverhampton Business School 
Dr Scott Hurrell Lecturer in work and employment studies, University of Stirling 
Dr Alan Tuckman Centre for Industrial Relations, University of Keele 
Alex J Wood Research associate, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge 
Professor Gill Kirton School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London 
Professor Tony Elger Emeritus professor, Sociology of Work and Employment, University of Warwick 
Dr Jacqueline Sinclair School of Business, University College Dublin 
Dr Aristea Koukiadaki University of Manchester 
Professor Richard Hyman Editor, European Journal of Industrial Relations 
Dr Mike Hemmings Doncaster College and University Centre 
Professor Michael Gold School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London 
Dr Stefania Marino University of Manchester 
Dr Nick Parsons Cardiff University 
Dr Mike Rigby London South Bank University 
Dr Andrew Perchard Senior research fellow, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University 
Professor Francis Green Professor of work and education economics, University College London 
Paul Brook Editor, Work, Employment and Society journal, University of Leicester 
Emeritus Professor Doug Miller University of Northumbria 
Martin Upchurch Professor of international employment relations, Middlesex University Business School 
Professor Philip B Whyman Director, Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research, Lancashire Business School 
Dr Steve Davies School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University 
Professor Kim Hoque Warwick Business School 
Professor Peter Turnbull Professor of HRM & labour relations, Cardiff Business School, University of Cardiff 
Dr Mick McKeown Reader in democratic mental health, University of Central Lancashire 
Zander Wedderburn Professor emeritus, Heriot-Watt University 
Chrissie Oldfield Senior lecturer in employment relations, London South Bank University 
Professor Geoffrey Wood Dean of Essex Business School, University of Essex 
Professor John Kelly Birkbeck, University of London 
Dr Peter Prowse Senior lecturer in HRM and Employment Relations, Bradford University School of Management 
Dr Susan Milner University of Bath 
Dr Ed Blissett Senior lecturer in employment relations, University of Hertfordshire 
Professor Michael Doherty Department of Law, Maynooth University, Ireland 
Dr Jonathan Lord Director of Employability International Strategy, People Management, and Salford Law Unit 
Roger Seifert Professor of Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, Management Research Centre, Wolverhampton Business School 
Sian Moore Professor of Work and Employment Relations; Co-Director, Centre for Employment Studies Research (CESR), Bristol Business School, University of the West of England 
Dennis Nickson Professor of service work and employment; Academic fellow, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Academic FCIPD); Editor-in-chief, Employee Relations, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Strathclyde 
Dr Maria Koumenta Business School, Queen Mary University of London 
Christine Edwards Professor emeritus, Department of Management, Kingston University
Dr Steve French Keele Management School, Keele University 
Connie Nolan Senior lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University

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