Employer hopes that the recent raft of employment legislation would satisfy unions are misplaced. Helen Rowe heard the reasons why at the TUC's annual conference held in Glasgow last week
Stop whingeing about workplace legislation, was the message TUC general secretary John Monks delivered to employers. As a theme for a keynote address it was hardly surprising.
And - as required of a union leader in this new era of management-union cooperation - it was couched in suitably measured language.
But what Monks's address and the platform speeches of numerous delegates failed to disguise was the union movement's determination to secure more workplace rights for employees.
The measures introduced in the Government's first term, it appears, have merely whetted the appetite of trade unionists.
As delegates and union leaders made clear last week, they want more - and they are focusing with renewed determination on how to get it.
If they have their way, at least, there will be no let up in the legislation HR professionals are required to implement.
"The truth is that UK employers have had it too easy for too long," Monks said. "That's why they are complaining."
Monks attacked the British Chambers of Commerce for specialising in "saying that every modest advance will cost millions and millions of pounds." Instead he urged employers to stop complaining and cooperate to improve areas of weakness in British industry such as training.
The recurring theme of the conference was that while much has been achieved, much more remains to be done to redress the balance following years of anti-union legislation under the Conservatives.
The TUC has already set out the policies it hopes to see introduced as a result of Labour's anticipated second term. The Next Five Years document compiled by the TUC identifies a number specific measures. These include full employment rights from day one and the extension of the Working Time regulations to excluded sectors with the removal of the individual opt-out.
The TUC also wants to see an "effective reinstatement remedy" for employees who successfully claim unfair dismissal and union recognition rights for those employed by small firms.
In the meantime, the union movement appears to recognise the work it faces to tackle a range of problems.
These difficulties - if not addressed - threaten to undermine its ability to build on those policies that have already bee