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6 Pages

PART 1 INTRODUCTION

Trade union freedom from State interference in internal affairs has been a long standing principle of industrial relations since the late 19th century. This principle has increasingly been under attack by statutory initiatives introduced by successive Conservative Governments in power from 1979-97 and so far left in place by the present Labour administration. Legislation now intervenes in trade union affairs by enforcing compulsory union elections, by regulating union financial matters and political activities and by providing the dissident individual member with a comprehensive package of rights to enforce against his or her union. This extensive scheme of statutory regulation exists side by side with judicial control of trade union internal government through the interpretation and enforcement of the union rule book.