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UK ranking falls due to Strikes Bill | Rob Moss

An annual review of workers’ rights worldwide has seen the UK drop down the global rankings for the first time in a decade.

The annual Global Rights Index, published by the International Trade Union Confederation, rated the UK on a scale of one to five as a 4, meaning “systematic violation of rights”. It had previously been rated 3 and now joins three other European countries – Greece, Hungary and Romania – on this rating, together with the US.

In Europe, only Turkey and Belarus had a worse rating, 5, meaning “no guarantee of rights”.

For the UK, “union busting, attempts to introduce legislation curtailing the right to strike and protest, and violations of collective bargaining agreements have become systematic” according to the ITUC.

The authors of the Global Rights Index said the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill is being “rushed through Parliament” and is “another attack on the fundamental right to strike for workers in the UK, which already lacks constitutional safeguards and takes place in a draconian legislative environment for trade unions”.

Another “repressive law” highlighted was the change last summer to allow agency workers to break strikes, a practice which was previously illegal. Unions challenged the repeal of the agency workers ban in the High Court last month, with a judgment expected soon.

The authors also criticised “extensive new powers” afforded to the Certification Officer in April 2022, which regulates trade…

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