After Thatcher glassed the unions, you would think they would have the manners to lie prostrate and bleeding amongst the spit and sawdust. Not a bit of it. Once their pet party returned to power under a business-friendly sneer, all they had to do was lie back and wait for pro-Europeans to pass the relevant regulation.
Lo and behold: the new Information and Consultation Regulations, where you, the employee, gain state mandated power to put forward a collective voice in how the business that employs you is run. You may not have put any money behind the business, but as a stakeholder, you should have your interests taken into account by the union that will represent you.
Tim Lang, partner at law firm George Green views this regulation as “a ticking time bomb”.
Initially, the new laws will only apply to firms with 150 or more employees. However, by 2007 the laws will extend to those with 100 employees and, by March 2008, the threshold will drop to 50.
Under the new rules, employ-ees will be able to request information and consultation arrangements from their employer with a petition from ten per cent of the workforce.
There would then be a period of time for negotiating a voluntary agreement, detailing exactly what information must be provided, when, to whom and what level of consultation is required. If nothing can be agreed then a default framework, set out in the legislation, will apply.
Since these works councils will provide a huge fillip to unionisation and wage demands, we can now see that the European Union, with Labour’s acquiescence, is rolling back Thatcher’s labour market reforms and jeopardising the potential growth of the British economy.
The costs for business will always be greater than the state estimates:
The Department of Trade and Industry estimates that for those firms with no pre-existing structure, who just implement the standard legislative process for informing and consulting, the total set-up costs per firm would be £4,000 for medium-sized firms and £6,300 for large firms.
But Mr Lang disagrees. He said: “The cost in management time of this new directive could be huge, with companies having to think through their processes and then actually provide the information. Time is already short for the first businesses affected to start the process of putting measures in place.”
Like all socialists, the Labour party wishes to return to a closed shop in politics and the workplace, gerrymandering our unwritten constitution and providing new institutions for the enemy class to take over the private sector.