I read with interest the article in which senior HR figures spoke about the only way for organisations to survive the economic crisis is if unions and employers work towards a common goal ('Employers and unions must unite', Personnel Today, 23 September).
We could not agree more. Evidence over the years has demonstrated time and time again that enlightened employers and unions, who actively work together for the good of the company, reap far more rewards than those who have maintained the traditional adversarial approach to industrial relations.
For those who have not embraced this partnership approach there will be some potentially challenging times ahead. Managers and unions will need to start thinking about each others' positions and consider how best to work together trust will need to be developed to enable confidential information to be shared appropriately so that robust decisions can be made jointly legitimate differences will need to be acknowledged by both parties and ways of dealing with them found.
In short, there needs to be a more collaborative working arrangement where everyone is working together for the greater good.
Now, perhaps more than at any time in our recent history, there really is absolutely no room for 'us and them'. The common goal for everyone is the success of the business because, when the business prospers, so too can its employees. And in these exceptionally turbulent times, there can surely be no more important priority.
Sue Ward, director, Partnership Institute