FDs divided on risk of labour fallout The UK’s finance directors are divided
over whether the country faces more industrial disputes in the wake of Gate
Gourmet, according to results from the Accountancy Age/Reed Finance Big
Of the 258 FDs polled, 39% believed that the Gate Gourmet fallout, and plans
to create a super union by T&G, Amicus and GMB, could see labour disputes
similar to those in the 1970s flare up again.
But just over half of the respondents believed this would not happen, while
10% of those questioned were neutral on the issue.
‘Industrial disputes similar to those of the 70s will only flare up again
when workers feel they can win such disputes, or that they could sell their
labour at an equivalent or better rate elsewhere,’ said Jim Lambie, FD of the
SGB Group. ‘That level of confidence in the labour force will only come about
when jobs cease to be exported to cheap labour markets.’
Another FD, however, said industrial disputes ‘did not take much’. He added:
‘The redundancy of over 600 workers will undoubtedly have an adverse effect
amongst unions and workers.’
Mohamed Sharif, FD of Crown Castle, was adamant that a major labour dispute
would not materialise. ‘It’s about time employees started to re-assert
themselves as big business seems to be able to steamroller people into accepting
increasingly more restrictive work practices,’ he said.
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