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Topic for June-July 2022 - Unions and Management

    • 124 posts
    July 1, 2022 10:15 AM BST

    The topic for this month is Unions, Management and Workforce Negotiations.

    We would welcome any thoughts on the topic.


    Proposed Agenda

    What are our general thoughts about the current situation?

    • What are the political and practical consequences of a wave of strikes - we've got rail workers and legal professionals taking or threatening action and others such as NHS and Teachers signposting future disputes?

    Leaving aside the current situation what are the issues and solutions longer term?  


    Underlying questions

    Is it morally right for unions to do all they can for their members, or morally wrong for them to hold the country to ransom and disrupt people's lives, or both?

    Why is there an extreme ‘us and them’ attitude in some organisations between management and workers? Is this akin to our adversarial political system? What are the root causes of most major disputes? Are there bad Bosses and bad Unions?

    • Are Union practices good or bad on the whole?
    • Do some Unions and Management work in harmony?
    • Do some Unions have too much power? Do they wield the strike threat too easily?
    • Does the law need changing further with respect to major strikes that affect operation of the country’s infrastructure?
    • Should it be made illegal for certain workers to go on strike (as it already is for the Armed Forces)?
    • Should it be made legal for employers to replace striking workers?
    • Is political alignment of Unions a good or bad thing? Are strikes sometimes politically motivated? Is funding of political parties good or bad?
    • What practical alternatives are there for a workforce to show their displeasure

    Is this largely a Public Sector problem? Should the Government intervene in private sector disputes? How does nationalisation play into this?


    Are there better ways for pay and conditions to be set, or negotiated, to most parties’ satisfaction taking into account any difficulties or challenges for the employer, employees and the economy in general?

    Can we align Management and Worker’s Interests such that both parties work together for the good of all stakeholders? How should the interests of both be protected in a 21st century society? Consider how: Pay, Terms and Conditions, Working Practices, Redundancies and Job Automation should be managed?


    Useful Data

    Trade Union membership 1995-2020: statistical bulletin (publishing.service.gov.uk)


    Unions fight to secure better pay and conditions for workers, but they can also benefit employers (yahoo.com)


    What business can learn from the UK’s public sector strikes | Financial Times (ft.com) Going On Strike : Employment Law & Industrial Action - Safe Workers UK


    This post was edited by # Probably42 at July 1, 2022 10:18 AM BST
    • 124 posts
    July 18, 2022 1:02 PM BST

    The discussion output on this subject is now available at Unions, Management and Workforce Negotiations