A joint TUC-CBI agreement on trade union recognition entered final negotiations this week, with the two sides expected to agree to differ on some issues in the final document.
The major sticking points are the form of the new union-employer bargaining units and the formal process for striking single union deals, said a source close to the talks.
A further issue was that the TUC’s negotiators did not think formal recognition ballots should be necessary where more than 50% of a workforce was already unionised. The CBI wants ballots in all cases.
`Some of the problems do still cover important topics, although the extent of disagreement over them is relatively minor,’ said a union source. `In some respects, they are issues that could be left for the discussions between the union and employer in each case.’
The most important concession from the unions has been their acceptance that staff can vote to derecognise as well as recognise unions every three years.
The agreement is intended to form a framework for government legislation that will re-introduce compulsory union recognition where more than 50% of the workforce vote in favour. It is expected that the legislation will be presented in the next session of Parliament.