A better, Scottish, way?
This blog has long championed the belief that unions and collective bargaining are good for workers, good for companies, good for the economy, and, crucially, good for social justice and reducing income inequality.
So it was heartening today to see Iain Gray, Labour’s leader in Scotland respond positively to a recent report by Unite which called for the establishment of ‘sector forums’ (hat-tip Keith Ewing). Speaking at the STUC Congress in Ayr, Gray announced,
“That is why I was pleased to learn that Unite have announced plans today to promote more employer and trade union joint working through sectoral bargaining and as First Minister I will explore the potential of such an initiative to attack pay inequality and protect workers in dispersed workforces.”
Of course, we’ve been here before, sort of…the so-called ‘Warwick Agreement’ contained a commitment to ‘new ‘Sectoral Forums’….to improve pay, skills, productivity and pensions’, but it will be interesting to see if and how the Labour Party run with this in Scotland should they form a government after May 5.
Could Scotland prove to be the test-bed for a new, positive, settlement between unions, employers and government?