Skip navigation

‘We planned a dispute by Blackberry’: The implications of the Trade Union Bill for Union use of social media as suggested by the BA-BASSA dispute of 2009–11

‘We planned a dispute by Blackberry’: The implications of the Trade Union Bill for Union use of social media as suggested by the BA-BASSA dispute of 2009–11

Moore, Sian and Taylor, Phil (2016) ‘We planned a dispute by Blackberry’: The implications of the Trade Union Bill for Union use of social media as suggested by the BA-BASSA dispute of 2009–11. Industrial Law Journal, 45 (2). pp. 251-256. ISSN 0305-9332 (Print), 1464-3669 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/indlaw/dww011)

[img]
Preview
PDF (Publisher's PDF Proofs)
15525 MOORE_Dispute_by_Blackberry_2016.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (312kB) | Preview

Abstract

The Trade Union Bill 2015–16 was expected to receive royal assent by May 2016. The Bill enshrines the Conservative Government’s plans to reform trade unions and ‘to protect essential public services against strikes’. Following the Government’s climb-down on changes to union checkoff arrangements and to the operation of union political funds and facility time, central features are the proposed changes to thresholds for industrial action in strike ballots, to the notice period for strike action and to the time limit in which industrial action can be taken. In parallel with the introduction of the Bill, the Government published an eight-week public consultation which asked whether statutory measures should be taken to tackle the intimidation of non-striking workers during industrial disputes. In the Consultation, the Government stated its intention to reform and modernise the rules relating to picketing, including the possible extension of the Code on picketing to protests linked to industrial action which may encompass the use of social media. The Consultation found little support for Government proposals and in particular the suggestion that unions give two weeks’ notice of plans for picketing and protests, including the intended use of social media and this proposal was subsequently dropped. However, the government has stated that it will update the Code of Practice on Picketing to include guidance on the use of social media.

This paper draws on our research on the 2009–11 British Airways strikes to consider the Government’s aspiration to widen the definition of industrial action to include protests away from the workplace, particularly organised by, or involving, social media. It will reveal how social media was used by BASSA (British Airways Stewards and Stewardesses Association) during the industrial action at British Airways (BA), when it became an additional site of conflict between the union and employer. In the light of these developments, the paper will also consider the potential consequences of the inclusion of measures on unions’ use of social media in the Code of Practice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Trade unions; British Airways; Industrial action;
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 12 May 2018 00:38
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT c
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15525

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics