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Of Unions and 'human resources'

The TUC and Personnel Today have co-funded a survey on the role of unions in the workplace, focusing in particular on how unions and HR droids view each other. It is full of intriguing insights, as are the very different emphases in how the two different reports tell the tale.

Both lead with the figure of 92% of union shop stewards who think that their syndicalism is jeopardising their careers (The word always reminds me of the joke about the man who sees a a headline saying '1000 jobs in jeopardy, and so makes haste to the station to buy a ticket...). 36% of the HR droids think the same thing, although a propos both, they would say that, wouldn't they?

Elsewhere, shop stewards rate their relationship with HR at 5.6 out of 10, to the 6.7 from the other side. Astonishingly 62% of shop stewards reckon HR pleasant / easy to deal with, with the reverse figure 69%. Elsewhere, "58% of HR professionals agree that their main union is professional in its approach); openness (36% v 51%); and quality of negotiating skills (31% v 55%)".

The magazine carries quotes from HR bods critical of unions, and union reps critical of HR which the TUC does not run with, and here's one involving a particularly hideous form of words: "Being a rep can get you air time. An incompetent rep may blame union activity for poor progression, but it is more likely they made a fool of themselves too often". (My emphasis)

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