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Critically Evaluate The Tuc's Ability To Find A Voice Within New Social Workplace Partnerships.

682 words - 3 pages

Critically evaluate the TUC's ability to find a voice within new social workplace partnerships.DefinitionA Trade Union can be described as "an organization consisting predominantly of employees, the principal activities of which include the negotiation of rates of pay and conditions of employment for its members".Brief History Trade Unions in the UK were decriminalised in 1867 when it was agreed that the establishment of the organisations was to the advantage of both employers and employees. Legalised in 1871, the Trade Union Movement sought to reform socio-economic conditions for employees working in British industries. The Unions' search for this effectively led to the creation of the Labour Party that still has extensive links with the Trade Union Movement. Margaret Thatcher's governments weakened the powers of the Unions in the 1980s, in particular by making it more difficult to strike legally. Most British Unions are members of the Trades Union Congress that was founded in 1867.The decline in numbers of members, very steep in the 1980s (from 13 million in 1979), seems to have stopped now and numbers have stabilised around 7.3 million since the year 2000. This has meant that the Trade Unions remain among the biggest organisations in the country. In September 2012, however, it was announced that Trade Union membership had dropped below 6 Million for the first time since the 1940's. Discussion Over the last 20 years or so there has been a significant change in employment relations between employers and employees when considering the role and power of Trade Unions. Union membership has fallen significantly and apart from the decrease in union membership the focus of unions has also had to change as is shown in the Workplace Employment Relations Survey. Pay and working conditions are no longer the basic focus of Unions that spend most of their time supporting complaints and grievances concerning individual workers. Such developments raise fundamental questions about the ability of Trade Unions to sustain their role as collective bargaining institutions.These developments have forced Unions to focus on partnership with employers. These "Partnership Agreements" or...

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