Eurotunnel deal is double-edged

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Eurotunnel deal is double-edgedOn 17 Oct 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. A union recognition deal at Eurotunnel signed in June replaced a cavalier management attitude towards involving staff in decision-making, HR director Mark O’Connell told delegates.“What is absolutely clear is that in the history of Eurotunnel, managers developed a slightly cavalier attitude to employee consultation and [staff] were experiencing a sense of frustration that they were not having the input they wanted.”A subsequent survey of staff revealed more than half favoured a union recognition deal and discussions were started with four unions.O’Connell described the deal with the Transport and General Workers’ Union as a positive move but told delegates that it also created problems.The agreement, which gives the T&G exclusive negotiating rights to collectively represent staff, angered the rail union Aslef.It has also created a second consultation mechanism running alongside the existing non-union arrangements, which line managers find a burden.O’Connell explained that when Eurotunnel began commercial operations in 1994 there was enormous commitment and enthusiasm among employees for what they felt was an extraordinary project.“By 1998 I think the enthusiasm gave way to normal issues and we found staff were changing their views about what the company should be doing for them.O’Connell said the agreement with the T&G allows other unions to represent their members on individual matters. Aslef, however, remains unhappy at being excluded on a collective basis from representing members working in a rail business.He added, “We have worked hard to arrive where we are today. Line managers do see the parallel consultation process as a burden and I have had to be honest and say to them that I don’t have the perfect solution. “Hopefully, over time, the two processes will be reduced to just one, but at the moment I can’t see another way.” last_img read more

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