Week 7 – Trade Unions and Industrial Action – A Christian View

This is a question that many of us do not consider, read the following blog entry by the “Urban Pastor” ==> www.theurbanpastor.wordpress.com/2011/06/22

What is the purpose of a Trade Union?

  • To act on behalf of and to represent its’ members to the Employer
  • National representation
  • To speak up for its’ members
  • To challenge bad workplace practice – H&S, Discrimination, Bullying, T&C’s of employment, Working Conditions
  • Worker protection during redundancy
  • Provision of support and consultancy for its’ members
    • Insurance schemes
    • Training
    • Legal Services
    • Financial Services

These aims and ideals are good and would fit in with a Christian view on how we should conduct ourselves towards other people.

Question – In an ideal world if the employer lived and conducted themselves by Christian principles then would we need Trade Unions?

In order to be able to start answering the question – Should a Christian go on strike or get involved in Industrial Action, we need to understand some of what the Bible says about our attitude to work and employment.

What principles does the bible teach about employing and working?

–          Work is a divine calling Genesis 1v28, Genesis 2v15, Colossians 3v23/24, Proverbs8v18; 28v19

–          Job trials are Growth opportunities

–          Make time to rest and celebrate

–          The workplace is a mission field

–          Love thy neighbour as thyself

–          Honour those in authority over you

–          Do good to all men

–          Thou shalt not steal or covet

–          God gives skills and talents – Exodus 36v1

–          God gives success Genesis 39v2

–          God controls promotion Psalm 75v7; Matt 25v23

Employers:

–          Serve employees Matt 20v26

–          Communicate Genesis 11v6

–          Hold employees accountable / evaluate performance

–          Pay a fair wage Mal 3v5; Deut 24v14/15

–          Pray to have godly employees

This website will go through some of these points in more detail ==> http://www.crown.org/Library/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=303

Industrial Action – Strikes

So what about strike action or any form of industrial action

The organisation Christians at Work has a very good leaflet that sets out the principles which should be taken into account by a Christian when considering whether or not to take Industrial Action. It can be found HERE – Briefing Paper No.5

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