Employers changing relationship with unions

Managers are starting to view union officials and shop
stewards as allies in helping to implement workplace change, according to
research by the Economic & Social Research Council.

The research, called Future of Collectivism, shows
that unions are becoming more business focused and “useful” to employers. Union
officials also felt that many employers are becoming more positive about
unions.

Professor William Brown, author of the report, said, “A
convergence of interests has occurred, spurred by both legal changes and
competitive pressures.”

Employers are using unions to facilitate difficult
organisational change, while at the same time trying to restrict trade union
influence on traditional issues such as pay setting, claims the report.

The research is based on interviews with 60 companies, 34
union officials and 15 industry body representatives.

www.esrc.ac.uk

By Mike Broad. Click
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