The TUC has urged HR to champion union partnership agreements after
criticising a lack of commitment by employers to the partnership agenda.
John Monks, general secretary of the TUC, speaking at the launch of the
Partnership Institute’s first annual report, claims many employers are not
interested in working with unions and operate outdated confrontational business
Monks believes partnerships help develop effective working relationships
between employers and unions which improve companies’ performance and
employees’ working conditions.
"A hell of a lot of employers do not believe in partnership agreements.
What motivates them is shareholder value. Many are not interested in human
value yet the quality and attitude of their people are absolutely essential to
their business," he said.
"Employers do not want to share power but want total control. They do
not realise that by sharing power they have a greater influence on what goes
Monks said that by supporting the partnership agenda, HR will be able to
increase its influence.
"It is a tremendous opportunity for the profession. The partnership
concept is a commitment by an organisation’s chief executive to put people
first, so the HR function is right at the centre of the business," he
"Partnerships increase the importance of the HR function as they put
people and the way they are treated at the heart of an organisation."
Monks said partnerships can make the difference between companies that put
people at the centre of the company and those that just say they do.
The institute, which is the TUC’s partnership consultancy, helped implement
partnerships at 59 organisations in its first year and predicts a turnover of
£250,000 for 2002.
By Paul Nelson