CBI leader calls on unions to adopt ‘can do’ attitudes

Confederation
of British Industry (CBI) leader Digby Jones has called on unions to turn away
from ‘the language of confrontation to a constructive agenda’.

Jones,
director-general of the CBI, spoke at the TUC conference in Brighton as part of
a productivity debate with Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary, and
Patricia Hewitt, trade and industry secretary.

Jones
wants unions to work in a spirit of co-operation and with positive ‘can do’
attitudes; a stance he says reflects modern-day trade unionism.

"Your
members, working with government, business and the voluntary sector, have a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure and sustain the improvements we all
want to see," Jones told delegates. 

"Let’s
make our legacy one of which our children would be rightly proud. Let’s not
throw it all away."

Several
union leaders have attacked the decision to invite Jones. The first day of the
conference was dominated by calls for more radical workers’ rights, including
the right to secondary industrial action, improvements in redundancy pay and
the inclusion of the European Union draft directory on agency workers, which
aims to improve the rights of temporary workers.

By Michael Millar

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