Industrial Action

Write an argumentative essay on Industrial Action. Needs to be 6 pages. The collective bargaining process in the U.K. has been described as adversary in nature because of the arms length bargaining style and the minimal communications employed, although it is a “representational system” since the labor movement is not seeking to overcome the political economic system. In sum, the degree of external control placed on employers by unions in the U.K. is limited in international comparison. Conditions of employment are set at the firm level and therefore more likely to give employers more flexibility in adapting HR policies to the firm context, although at times these policies also limit managerial flexibility, to wit, the restrictive work practices that evolved in U.K factories. The extent of industrial action : In the UK, official statistics on the use of industrial sanctions relate only to strikes. They measure three dimension of strike activity – their number (how frequent they are), their size ( number of workers involved) and their duration (the number of working days lost). This last measure is often distorted by a few big strikes. For example, in 1979 an engineering industry- wide strike accounted for 55 percent of the 29.5 million working days lost in that year. In 2000 the number of working days lost in the UK was 499,00. However, disputes still happen – for example, the series of one day stoppages in 2002 on the railways over the widening of pay differentials between drivers, who were in short supply, and other railway employees.

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