Unions booming as recognition deals treble

Unions won three times more recognition agreements in 2001 than they did in
2000.

The TUC’s annual survey Focus on Recognition reveals unions won 470 new
deals during the last year, compared with 159 in 2000.

Twenty of the new agreements came after ballots through the Central
Arbitration Committee, the first statutory agreements since the law was changed
in the 1999 Employment Relations Act.

As a result of union recognition agreements, more than 120,000 more workers
are now covered.

Well-known firms with new recognition deals include Honda, EasyJet, BT
Cellnet and Securicor.

The overwhelming majority of voluntary agreements were with private sector
companies, covering pay, hours and holidays.

TUC general secretary John Monks, said the growth in recognition agreements
was because employers are increasingly aware of the importance of strong
partnerships with their workforce.

He said, "This report confirms unions are very much back in business
and employers want to do business with them. Sensible employers understand that
today’s unions seek partnerships and good working relationships. They can be
good for business as well as good for staff."

The TUC’s study finds most recognition campaigns are started because of an
increase in union membership.

More than a quarter of the new deals were the result of employers’
encouragement.

The TUC is unhappy that, at present, a union needs a 40 per cent yes from
all workers before a recognition deal can be reached and is campaigning for a
simple voting majority to be sufficient.

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