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  • Unions and managers are allies in business change

    first_img Previous Article Next Article Unions and managers are allies in business changeOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Managers are starting to view union representatives as allies inimplementing workplace change, according to research unveiled at the Acasconference last week. The survey, called Future of Collectivism, shows that unions are becomingmore business focused and “useful” to employers. Union officials alsofeel many employers are showing them a more positive attitude. Report author Professor William Brown said, “A convergence of interestshas occurred, spurred by legal changes and competitive pressures.” Employers are using unions to facilitate difficult organisational change,while at the same time trying to restrict their influence on traditional issuessuch as pay setting, claims the report. At the Acas conference in Harrogate, Brown told delegates that the 1999Employment Relations Act and the direction of EU law have accelerated the rateat which employers were redesigning their relationships with unions to be morecooperative. The Economic and Social Research Council report said senior individuals areoften behind an anti-union stance. Three-quarters of firms that plan to resistattempts by unions to gain recognition admit they are taking their cue fromanti-union top executives. Improved relations often coincide with theappointment of a new, senior HR manager. The research was based on interviews with 60 companies, 34 union officialsand 15 industry body representatives. It found that most companies were partiallyunionised without recognition agreements and were being targeted by unions forrecognition. Both employers and unions are trying to avoid going down the statutoryrecognition route which involves balloting, said Brown. The research is part of the ESRC’s £4m Future of Work programme. www.esrc.ac.ukBy Mike Broad last_img read more