A comparative study suggests it is workable and may yet foster partnerships
A central element of the Employment Relations Bill is the Union Recognition Procedure.
In a study of the Bill's union recognition system, Dr Stephen Wood, Reader in Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Dr John Godard, Professor of Industrial Relations at of the University of Manitoba in Canada, the authors conclude that it is a marked improvement on the 1970s system and stands a better chance of working. Lessons clearly have been learnt from the past.
The system also avoids some of the problems of the US system. Judged though against the Canadian system there are weaknesses. It allows greater opportunity than in Canada for employer intervention in the recognition process, and possibly limits the ability of unions to represent workers effectively once recognition has been achieved.
Yet, what appear as weaknesses may be strengths from the point of view of the Government's aim of promoting partnership, the third way in industrial relations. Whether this will amount to a significant extension of the scope of collective bargaining is a more open question.
Note to Editors
Stephen Wood is Reader in Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2 2AE.
Contact through Stephen Wood - telephone 0171 272 1558 or 955 7033, email firstname.lastname@example.org or the Press Office at LSE at 0171 955 7060
For a three page summary of the study please contact LSE Press Office: 0171 955 7060
16 July 1999