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Managing the UnionsThe Impact of Legislation on Trade Unions' Behaviour$
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Roger Undy, Patricia Fosh, Huw Morris, Paul Smith, and Roderick Martin

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289197

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289197.001.0001

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Ballots, Elections, and Union Government

Ballots, Elections, and Union Government

(p.162) (p.163) 5 Ballots, Elections, and Union Government
Managing the Unions

Roger Undy

Patricia Fosh

Huw Morris

Paul Smith

Roderick Martin

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a detailed analysis on the impact of the changes in both the Trade Union Act (TUA) 1984 and the Employment Act (EA) 1988 on the union government. Because the Conservatives thought the unions' political processes were influenced by an activist minority, the TUA required the principal executive committee (PEC) to hold elections by individual ballots. This resulted in the abolition of the PEC election by intermediate bodies, and in turn, resulted in the cancellation of workplace ballots. In sum, the ineffectivity of TUA 1984 and EA 1988 to initiate reform was followed by its failure to promote ‘moderate’ leadership. Despite not being able to initiate reform and its other flaws, the legislation was able to discredit union autonomy and its norms and practices and associated union democracy with the creation of government policy.

Keywords:   Trade Union Act 1984, Employment Act 1988, union government, workplace ballots, policy, elections

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