CBI won’t help to frame pro-union laws

CBI chief Digby Jones has rejected a request from ministers to help implement pro-union changes, according to reports.

The CBI confirmed it had been approached by trade and industry secretary Alan Johnson to help ease business concerns about its labour market agenda.

The government is keen to implement reforms to the rights of striking workers, redundancy pay and holiday allowances detailed in the Warwick Agreement with trade unions signed last year.

But Jones is understood to have told Johnson not to ask the CBI to join the unions for “beer and sandwiches”, reports The Independent.He insisted that the CBI would not enter a social partnership to enable ministers to “implement something agreed with their union paymasters”, the paper reported.

Earlier this month the CBI denounced the government’s decision to give in to union demands and shelve plans to extend the working age of civil servants to 65.

A DTI spokesman said: “New legislation always benefits from consultation with as many appropriate stakeholders as possible. It would be unfortunate if businesses were not represented in any discussions.”


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