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What to do if your employees unionise

In a major win for an industry that has struggled with regulation and equality, Activision Blizzard employees have voted in an overwhelming majority to join a union. But what should HR do if employees want to unionise?

Open any history textbook in the United Kingdom and you’ll quickly realise that Britain has a long history of struggle with the class system, particularly with the rights of workers vs the rule of the aristocracy. Never has this been more saliently crystalised as with the miners of the North of England vs then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

It has been called ‘the most bitter industrial dispute in Britain’s history’ by historians and led to widespread economic poverty in the North of England. Despite the workers simply wanting to keep their jobs and not have them outsourced to Australia or Columbia, the resistance to labourers having the gall to organise was fierce. Whether you like the Iron Lady or not, her actions at the time were, without any pretence otherwise, to simply weaken labour and trade unions within the UK.

The long-term effects of this struggle and the closure of the mines have resulted in, at best, an iffy attitude to labour unions. But in other countries, most notably, those in the EU, the US, Canada and parts of Latin America, they’re integral to balance the human rights of workers with the tendency toward hording that wealthy land owners have historically espoused.

Unions don’t mean a death knell for companies, nor a loss of revenue

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