Gollan, Paul J.
His masters voice - the interplay between non-union and union representation arrangements at Eurotunnel.
In: Reworking work, 9-11 February 2005, Sydney.
The recent introduction of the European Directive on information and consultation and its forthcoming implementation into UK law has increased the focus on workplace representation arrangements. This paper examines the interplay between non-union and union representative arrangements at Eurotunnel (UK) and assesses their effectiveness in representing the needs of employees over a fi ve-year period. Importantly, the paper also examines the pros and cons of both NER and union voice arrangements. The fi ndings show that the effectiveness of non-union structures as bodies representing the interests of employees in fi lling the lack of representation is questionable. However, union recognition through an employer-union partnership agreement has also raised important issues regarding the effectiveness, impact and legitimacy of unions at Eurotunnel. This perception of the lack of effective voice is particularly important given the recent introduction of the European Directive on information and consultation and its forthcoming implementation into UK law. The main implication of this research is that the existence of a mechanism - union or non-union - for communication between management and employees at the workplace may not be a suffi cient condition for representation of employee interests. Effective employee voice over workplace issues may be essential for achieving and maintaining employee satisfaction. Voice, the right to be heard and having infl uence over workplace issues and at times an acknowledgement of differing interests may be essential conditions for a more effective decision-making process.
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