The Limits of Statutory Trade Union Recognition
The paper assesses the prospects for Britain's new statutory trade union recognition procedure in the light of empirical evidence concerning union derecognition practice in the 1990s. It draws on 15 cases of union derecognition across a broad spread of employment, matched with comparable cases where recognition was retained. It is shown that in practice, the line between recognition and non-recognition was extremely blurred. A move towards more cooperative workplace arrangements, associated with a 'partnership' model of industrial relations, was common to employers in both categories. As part of this process, the traditional distinction between negotiation and consultation was breaking down. Against this background, we argue that it is far from clear that the current legislative strategy, in focusing on statutory recognition, is the best way of promoting partnership at work.
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