UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Bosses who play hardball

Gregor Gall takes stock of the dispute at Ineos oil refinery in Grangemouth, Scotland, and finds that the belligerent stance of the company is not an isolated case of anti union management behaviour but reflects a growing trend of ’put up or shut up’ by bosses citing UNISON’s dispute with the NHS employers over ambulance workers pay and conditions as one of several current examples.

Solidarity is a key weapon of defence in such situations and all trade unionists will be heartened by the support for the battling Scottish workers from the Ineos global workforce

However abuse of corporate power is far from a new phenomenon and a great case study in an effective union response is ‘Final Offer’ an award winning fly on the wall film made in 1985. The film takes an inside look into the 1984 contract negotiations between the Canadian branch of the UAW and General Motors. It is a unique insight into corporate power, the dynamics of negotiations, solidarity and union governance. It captures the tense events which led to the birth of the Canadian Auto Workers Union - by parting company with the US based international union – which in turn recently merged with Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada to form Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union.