United Nations Special Rapporteur criticises UK’s weak right to strike and calls for action on blacklists

In a statement from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, at the conclusion of his visit to the United Kingdom, he said:


“With regard to trade unions, two main issues of concern were brought to my attention. First, I found undue constraints on the right to strike as secondary picketing (or solidarity strikes) have not been allowed since 1982. This issue has been criticized by the International Labour Organization on repeated occasions. It is time to repeal this law and bring the UK into conformity with human rights law. Secondly, I was appalled to hear about the existence of a blacklist of union members in the construction industry, with no sanctions allegedly taken against those who benefitted from the list. It is crucial that strong actions be taken against the making and using of such lists as a deterrence.”


The statement will be welcomed by trade union campaigners on these issues, and it is particularly timely following the recent Parliamentary debate on blacklisting.


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