Long hostile to the legal system, British trade unions have changed

The Economist - 02-21


BARELY A WEEK goes by without a court case on workers’ rights. In a case last month supported by the GMB, a union, the appeal court upheld an equal-pay ruling against Asda, a supermarket. Next week a case begins in the high court, backed by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) and involving the University of London, concerning the extent to which outsourced workers have collective-bargaining rights at the place where they work. Before long the IWGBwill battle Uber in the Supreme Court over whether the ride-hailing firm wrongly classifies its drivers as independent contractors. Unions, it seems, increasingly see the courts as a good way to protect their members.