secondary action

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Is industrial action by a trade union that is directed against employers other than the one with which the union is in dispute. The aim is to disrupt the primary employer's business and exert pressure by spreading the action to other companies located in the same industry or along the primary employer's supply chain. Secondary action can take various forms, such as the refusal to handle material or components bought from or being supplied to the primary employer. It might also involve sympathy action by workers in other unions remote from the dispute, as when coal miners strike in support of nurses. In the UK, the Employment Act 1990 rendered all forms of secondary action unlawful, including sympathy action and action directed at the primary employer's customers and suppliers. This significantly weakens the right to strike and effectively confines lawful strike activity to the individual enterprise or a group of associated enterprises.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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