Pensions Dispute: Bullying tactics violate workers’ human rights

Professor Alan Bogg (University of Oxford) and Professor KD Ewing (King’s College London) have written a blog post for the Institute of Employment Rights (a labour movement think tank) outlining the ways in which recent threats to staff participating in industrial action are problematic from a human rights law perspective (note: this has not happened at Keele):

If the threats are empty gestures by bullying employers, the universities issuing such threats may be regarded as breaking the employment contract through a breach of the term of mutual trust and confidence. This has been used as a standard to challenge other forms of workplace bullying and harassment by employers, and the issuing of threats known to be empty but with the objective of intimidating, particularly in an otherwise lawful dispute, would seem to constitute a repudiatory breach of contract by the employer.

[…]Penalising strikers in lawful disputes through threats to sue appears to be incompatible with the growing case law under Article 11.