In July this year, BIS published a consultation on tackling intimidation of non-striking workers. This week BIS published the Government's response. The response suggests that the Government will not be pursuing the majority of its initial proposals but will proceed with two points:
- The Trade Union Bill 2015-16 will be amended to clarify that the letter of authorisation given to a picketing supervisor applies to the picketing activity and so will not require the picket supervisor's name and the entitlement to see the letter will apply only to the employer or their agent.
- There will be revisions to the Code of Practice on Picketing to set out rights and responsibilities, including in relation to the use of social media.
It is no surprise that in a time when social media use continues to grow, concerns regarding the increased use of social media by striking workers to show their feelings towards non-striking colleagues would be raised as an issue. The response from the Government is therefore not surprising and in fact deals with the increased use of social media which is an issue that most businesses and organisations are having to consider and deal with.
Ministers launch crackdown on picketers who intimidate strike breakers on Facebook and Twitter