Is the UK heading for a summer of discontent?
An interesting article here from xpertHR, one to share….
Recent events show there is no doubt that the unions remain a force to be reckoned with. The threat of national strike action already looms in significant parts of the private sector – this week BA workers went on strike in the first of three five-day stoppages by cabin crew following a dispute about jobs, working conditions and pay.
The RMT union has also started balloting members employed by Tube Lines, the body responsible for maintenance of the London Underground, in a dispute over pay and safety. A strike at vehicle breakdown company AA over pensions was recently averted while a national strike by RMT members at Network Rail was only avoided by a court injunction.
These are just examples of high-profile, national disputes that have flared up in the private sector. There is every chance that industrial unrest could spread to the public sector over the coming months. Given the planned public sector spending cuts, many commentators predict there will be national disputes about pay and living standards. There are already more localised disputes springing up, including a range of strikes, sit-ins and the threat of ballots over cuts to higher education.
Despite this growing climate of conflict, preliminary findings from the 2010 IRS/XpertHR 2010 ‘working with trade unions’ survey show that 84% of employers would describe the relationship with their trade union as very good or good. A significant proportion are positive about the relationship even where there has been a collective dispute.