From Mark Emery, Equalities Officer
It is important to distinguish between workers’ rights (or ‘employment rights’) and trade union rights. Trade union rights consist of the rights of workers as trade unionists and the rights of trade unions themselves.
The scope of trade union rights are clear:
• The right of workers to join and be active in a trade union;
• The right of workers and unions to organise (i.e. to form a trade union or federation and to recruit members);
• The right of a union to determine its own constitution and membership;
• The right of a union to decide for itself what activities to undertake, including organising industrial action;
• The right of workers to take industrial action;
• The right to free collective bargaining.