Better EU negotiations – lessons from Trade Union disputes

Always go into a negotiation knowing your “BATNA” is sound advice from William Ury of Harvard Law School. Your BATNA is your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. It applies well to all negotiations including those with Trade Unions. When I was a “rookie” industrial relations officer, industrial strikes were commonplace. Sometimes the best alternative […]

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Zero hours – criticisms neutralised

Criticisms of a long standing contractual arrangement (ie zero hours) were raised some months ago. The Unite Union decided to challenge them, allegations of abuse surfaced and were probably exaggerated, politicians jumped on the bandwagon (notably the Business Secretary, Vince Cable,  who should have known better) and much hot air was generated. Now research by […]

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Trade Unions are good for employers

A surprising statement perhaps, from an organisation working exclusively for employers, but it can be true. It is some ten years since I sat down with a prospect to discuss their recent recognition of a Trade Union. It was something they certainly saw to be undesirable. Among their employees were three who felt they were […]

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Drawing non-union members into disputes

Bob Crow, of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Trade Union, and others seem keen to draw non-union members into any future disputes over pay, pensions or cuts. It is a disturbing suggestion. In the 1970s I joined a Trade Union, not to protect myself from my employer but to protect myself from the Trade Union. […]

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Will the TUC renew its marriage vows?

Ed Miliband has been getting a battering today (Tuesday 13 Sept) and there is no doubt Trade Unions want more influence in the Labour Party. With Trade Unions providing more than 80% of Labour Party funding and Ed Miliband himself elected leader on a pro-union stance, the side he is going to have to be […]

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