Time for union body to opt for partnership

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Time for union body to opt for partnershipOn 2 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Sometimesyou have to stop doing your busy job and really think about essentials. That’snot to say urgent business and other people’s demands must not be met – theymust. There comes a moment, however, in everyone’s career when you have tothink big – and the biggest question is what am I doing here?It’sthe same for trade union officials. Just like every manager I know, we have to ask ourselves “Is thiswhat I do? Do I want to be associated with this organisation?  Can I look at myself in the mirror everymorning?”Forus in Amicus-AEEU, the current election campaign of Sir Ken Jackson hasprovided just such a moment. In the middle of all my work on Lifelong Learning,the information and consultation directive, partnership and productivity, I amasking if the union is going the way I want it to go as an individual memberfor 28 years, never mind as a full-time official.It’sprobably no surprise to you that my choice in this election helps me to define,personally, the sort of relationships at work that I believe Ken Jackson and myunion stands for.  We actually believethat partnership means a new self-confidence for our members at work.Itis not a sell-out. It is not a sweetheart, deferential approach to employers asextreme left wingers have levelled at us through their accusations . Partnershipmeans a new way for workers to win respect from their managers. This respect isbasedon the positive contributions we can make to successful companies. We havemoved on from an employer’s respect based simply on fear of us as trade unions– on our power of veto over managerial initiatives.Forus as a union – and for me personally as one of its advocates -our union isbusy being constructive, not destructive. We stand for supporting Britishindustry, not whingeing at it from the sidelines.Iknow that managers often find our internal culture – our politics and elections– a frustrating diversion. Our gossip is all about ourselves at factory leveland national level alike. However,I beseech HR managers to be patient with us. Periodically, we need these messy,noisy, controversial outbreaks of argument and campaigning. They give us theopportunity to relaunch our general direction with power and authority.Theyunderpin our members’ collective choice of the type of relationships at workthey seek for themselves.Forall our members and their officials, this election and every election is aboutthe future of work at your workplace. Ihope our members’ experience of you, as an employer, makes them choose partnershiprather than confrontation. I am sure they will.ByJohn Lloyd, National officer, Amicus Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more