Two years ago the TUC described the Information andConsultation Directive as “potentially the most signiﬁcantpiece of employment legislation ever to be introduced inthe UK”. It joined a range of other respected commentatorsin highlighting the scope the Directive provides to ensurethat employees and their trade union representativesare informed and consulted on a systematic basis - thusbuilding on the practices of the best employers but alsodirectly challenging the laggards - and on a wider rangeof issues than the core agenda items of pay, rations andredundancy. The 10% membership trigger for thesearrangements was seen as an important tool to establishrecognition in new bargaining units and also to extendunion inﬂuence among smaller organisations. Today however, it is easy to form the impression thatmuch of the initial enthusiasm has drained away. Thereis no parade of union success stories, nor even a digestof disputes with employers over implementation of theInformation and Consultation Regulations.Is this because unions are quietly getting on with it, eitherwith the co-operation of employers or at least an absenceof overt opposition? Or is it because there is now a diﬀerentassessment of the opportunities and challenges? To be fair, even from the earliest stages it was recognisedthat the Directive would impose new demands onnegotiating and organising resources and skills and that,lurking in the background, were potential threats of derecognition in some areas. The reality may well be that there is a variety of views andexperiences and, in our opinion, it is timely to take stock of whether the regulations really do provide new pathwaysto recognition. To this end, we will be holding a half-dayseminar in central London on 20 September. Speakers willinclude Employment Minister Gerry Sutcliﬀe; ProfessorKeith Sisson of ACAS; Sarah Veale, TUC Head of Equality andEmployment Rights; and David Yeandle of the EngineeringEmployers’ Federation. Union perspectives will include TonyBurke of Amicus and Paul Noon of Prospect.For further details and to book a place, please contactUnions 21 Director Matt Ball at email@example.com.
The Midlands TUC heldits second annual awardsceremony at the Holiday Innat Leicester in May – and wereproud to have Unity Trust Bank as the awards sponsor. Thisyear’s awards were widenedto include new categoriescovering Equalities, Organisingand Health and Safety, whilethe awards for Learning wereagain a big draw for the 100plus audience.A special equality award wentto the anti fascist campaigngroup Norscarf – the NorthStaﬀordshire Campaignagainst Racism and Fascism– which has a long and proudhistory of campaigning againstthe British National Party andthe National Front.Presenting the awards forunion learning representativeswas Mark Wilton, Unity’sdevelopment manager for theMidlands, who underlined theimportance of Unity workingwith aﬃliates at a regionallevel.In 2004, the TUC appointedRoger McKenzie asregional secretary for theMidlands. Speaking at theceremony, he said, “Theseawards demonstrate theexcellent work that learningrepresentatives, shopstewards, health and safetyrepresentatives and full timeoﬃcials continually deliveron behalf of Midland tradeunionists”.
Information and Consultation:
Unity sponsorsMidlands TUC awards
TUC Fringe Meeting
Lunchtime, Tuesday 13th September, Brighton Centre
Full Employment – but why don’t we grow?
Why has union membership remained stagnant whenhistorically full employment has been an ingredient for tradeunion growth? What are trade unions’ prospects for growth?Can union mergers help recruit new members? Is the“organising” agenda the solution? These questions and more will be debated.Speakers will include Robert Taylor and Paul Mackney(NATFHE General Secretary).
Labour Party Fringe Meeting
Lunchtime, Wednesday 28th September, Metropole Hotel
Unions: Labour’s Critical Friends?
After widespread acknowledgement of unions’ roles insecuring a third term for Labour how can unions and Labourbuild a progressive consensus in the workplace? Is the unionlink to Labour the only way to secure the trade union agenda?Does the way we designed the Warwick Agreement have along term future?
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alan Johnson
will speak at this meeting and further details will be available at TUC Congress.Come and join the discussion. The Metropole Hotel is inside the security cordon – aconference pass will be required.
Autumn Conference Events