CBI director-general Richard Lambert calls for discussions between employers and unions

CBI director-general Richard Lambert today told delegates at the TUC Congress that it was time for employer groups and unions to discuss the way forward for the UK economy.

Lambert said that globalisation was dramatically increasing both competition and income inequality, posing new problems for businesses as well as workers.

“This is a good time to be talking, because employers and employees are facing the same challenge: how best to deal with the fundamental changes which are affecting our working lives,” he told union members in Brighton.

He restated the CBI’s opposition to the current Agency Workers Directive, and its support for the opt-out of the Working Time Directive, both contradicting the TUC’s position.

However, Lambert insisted: “It’s important to remember that in big-picture terms we do have vital common interests: about the need for high employment levels and a skilled workforce about the importance of creating a fair and competitive society, with opportunities for those who can grasp them and support for those who, for one reason or another, cannot.”

And he concluded: “We also have a common interest in fostering an open and constructive discussion about the benefits and costs of globalisation, and the policies that will be necessary to support the one and minimise the other.”

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