Employers have been urged to do more to engage with trade unions over issues such as training if they want to maintain good industrial relations.
The TUC has made training a priority while the number of union learning reps in workplaces has grown to more than 12,000.
But new research among almost 100 employers has found that just two negotiated with a union over training and only two others even consulted them.
The survey by Personnel Today’s sister title IRS Employment Review showed that where unions were recognised, reps were singled out for praise by managers for helping firms through any difficult times.
Mark Crail, editor of the title, said: “Our findings suggest that generally the relationship between unions and employers is positive, with benefits for both sides.
“But it appears that employers need to respond to the growing interest shown by unions in training issues so that they can involve their workforce in this important area.”