Proposals a step back to ‘dark ages’

The Government’s proposals on trade union recognition are in danger of
hauling employment relations back to the dark ages of the 1970s when the
emphasis was on confrontation, engineering employers have warned.

Draft policies, particularly those on recognition ballots and collective
bargaining are much too prescriptive, the Sheffield branch of the Engineering
Employers’ Federation believes.

Gordon Scott, director of the EEF, Sheffield, said more realistic timetables
were needed for recognition ballots. He is also worried about proposals for
union "surgeries" which he said go beyond the rights given to
recognised unions.

"Collective bargaining should be handled between employers and
employees – only involving full-time union officials at a later stage," he

"Both these documents are too detailed and prescriptive and seem to
want a return to the rigid and adversarial bargaining of the 1970s rather than
the partnership approach that we need in the new century."

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