Labour Market

Get politicians out of the way in industrial disputes

Mark Littlewood writes in The Times

IEA Director General Mark Littlewood has written for The Times arguing that the government should stop meddling in labour disputes.

Mark wrote:

“to crack the problem, we need a bottom-up approach that allows individual workers to select a contract that best suits their own aspirations. Some might choose to agree to never strike and receive an enhanced remuneration package as a consequence. Others might agree to always abide by pay decisions made by independent review boards and only ever to entertain the threat of industrial action if employers didn’t abide by them

“Far from undermining the trades union movement, this could reinvigorate it. Unions can play a vital and positive role in the economy, not only by defending the rights of their members but also by pressing employers to improve their practices. Those of a free market persuasion should have no problems with trades unions per se. They surely amount to a voluntary association of different individuals pursuing a common interest. If a cluster of entrepreneurs choosing to link up together to pursue their goals is applauded, why doesn’t the same apply to workers?

“The problem is that the union movement has become too formally politicised. Unions aren’t treated as clubs or societies but as an area of civil society requiring vast amounts of controversial legislation.”

You can read Mark’s full article here.