EEF warns of `step into the unknown’

A future Labour Government’s plans for a minimum wage and trade union recognition are starkly at odds with Engineering Employers’ Federation policies. In a detailed comparison of the Conservative and Labour party manifestos by the EEF, employment issues emerge as the most obvious area of policy disagreement. In its manifesto published last year, the EEF […]

A future Labour Government’s plans for a minimum wage and trade union recognition are starkly at odds with Engineering Employers’ Federation policies.

In a detailed comparison of the Conservative and Labour party manifestos by the EEF, employment issues emerge as the most obvious area of policy disagreement.

In its manifesto published last year, the EEF set out its opposition to a national minimum wage, signing the Social Chapter and the statutory recognition of trade unions. Labour supports all three.

`The devil is in the detail. The policies on a minimum wage and union recognition are very much a step into the unknown. The most important issues are how a minimum rate would be uprated and how often,’ said David Yeandle, the EEF’s director of employment affairs.

The EEF plans to lobby hard to win a place on the commission proposed by Labour to establish the minimum wage level, which it sees as affecting wages of higher paid workers as well.

The EEF said a law requiring union recognition would force unwelcome negotiating structures on firms. `Effective meaningful negotiations can only take place if there is a constructive atmosphere,’ said Yeandle.