Can trade unions be accommodated within the neo-liberal economic model?
There is a tendency to accuse the trade unions for inhibiting private sector investment that is crucial for UK’s long term economic success. The unions were also being accused of “holding monopolistic power over corporations”, which is utterly untrue. (Marlow, Sue., p.95) A more accurate explanation for anti-worker legislation is that it has allowed corporations to optimize methods of production, which result in short term increase in productivity as some of the redundancies (including human redundancies) were scrapped. However, there is a price to pay for this short-sightedness, which most corporations don’t seem to understand (Healey, Nigel M., p.292). In other words, while the existing terms and conditions offered to workers have increased the profitability of businesses, there is no denying the fact that significant damage had been inflicted upon the workers and their unions, making any significant repeal in favour of workers unlikely. Studied in this broader context, the internal efforts made by individual business corporations in giving greater voice to their employees and encouraging them to get involved in the success of the company can only go so far. As long as there is only limited legal recourse for claiming their right to have a say in the decision-making process of the company, the workers will not have any meaningful ‘voice’ within the workplace.
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