Fine day in history set the tone for the future

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Some days, you know why you do it.There was a day like that last week that gave me huge reassurance that what westand for rings some bells with my fellow citizens. The first thing thattrade union officials need is a little modesty. Our convictions and commitmentto human rights at work, the raising of British productivity in the globaleconomy and partnership with employers is not to everyone’s taste. But this week, myunion got some bread back across the waters.After two years ofdetailed planning and, yes, some sharp words, the AEEU and MSF finally put aballot to its members concerning a merger of our two unions. The members understandunity only too well. In both unions, in a secret postal ballot of 30 per centin each union voted by 80 per cent majorities to put our two unions togetherinto a new union over a million strong. We will now coverpeople at every level of vocational accomplishment in manufacturing, the publicservices and not for profit sector, and finance. Further consolidation is inthe wind with talks already under way with other unions. The significance ofthis for constructive industrial relations cannot be underestimated. Our newunion stands for co-operation with reasonable employers – the partnershipagenda. For us to be partnersin a sophisticated global economy, we need resources to support our members infactories, offices, political arenas and Europe. The members have assured us ofthose resources. We must now use them wisely.The same day as wereceived the ballot result in Manchester, we heard the news that VirginAtlantic Airways had at last decided to follow the route of a voluntaryagreement with the union for recognition. They heard their own employees’ voiceand our careful, quiet persuasion. We will enter that newagreement, anxious to prove that what we stand for adds something to ourmembers’ lives who have waited for a long time for recognition of their union,but equally adds value to the airline in achieving economic success.Perhaps we are doingsomething right. Trade unions do engage the loyalty of individuals and therespect of progressive employers. Last week, we got a huge dose of each. For some of us, it wasnot without significance that our modern re-statements of trade union purposewere announced at our meeting in a Manchester hotel, 800 metres from the pubwhere the Electrical Trade Union was founded in 1889. Those Victorian craftsmenwould have been pleased. By John LloydNational officer, Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union Fine day in history set the tone for the futureOn 10 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more