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Trade Union Partnership Agreements

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Trade Union Partnership Agreements

In a characteristic agreement between the cooperative bank and the Union of Banking and Financial Insurance, it is stated that “our partnership must contribute significantly to the growth of a viable and sustainable business”. United Distillers sees the partnership as one of the “engines of a step on the road to world-class manufacturing.” In formal partnership agreements, trade unions have expressly reaffirmed their commitment to pursue these objectives and have acted with the company to introduce the necessary agreed changes. Two general views on “partnership” in the workplace are identified as a trade union strategy: it is seen either as a potentially effective strategy for restoring trade union influence or as a fatal mistake. Discusses the determinants of strong partnership relationships between unions and management to support the evaluation of “partnership unionism” as a union strategy. Outlines a definition of employment partnership on the basis of practice. Although there are elements in common with previous attempts to promote or implement cooperation between trade union leaderships, it is argued that the current partnership in the workplace has characteristics that flow from its specific context. Two cases are used to illustrate the internal dynamism of the partnership in the workplace and the nature of the interaction with environmental factors. This isolates the necessary components of strong partnership relationships. Partnership is not only compatible with a stronger employment organization, but it also depends on it.

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