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Thread: Unions?

  1. #1
    Regular Member bigdave1701's Avatar
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    Default Unions?

    With one of us facing redundancy this week, we're thinking that perhaps the remaining 3 should join the GPM sector of the Unite union (needs to be 3 union members within the business before they recognise it). Do we have any members of unions? are they worth the £12p/m?

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    Am in unite and there alright at my work like helped me out couple times

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    Regular Member carperjake's Avatar
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    I've just left Unison too in my current employment as they don't represent my opinions, I'm in APAP (Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel) now as they are far more moderate and less militant than the others. Unite have representation at my work place, they seem OK but as with most of the large unions they are more militant and seem to take the opposing view to management whatever it is, very anti in their dealings with the bosses. I'd advise anyone to have union representation in their place of work but to think long and hard ab out which union tbhey join as you can get dragged in to things that you don't want to be associated with.

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    Union membership has it's pros and cons, so consider them carefully
    Our company recognises GMB, but less than 30% of our employees believe there is any need to join a Union and have done so
    This pretty much shows the relationship between management and employees is very good

    With respect to redundancy, there is very little a Union can do as the employer clearly cannot afford to employ everyone
    However the employer may be able to swap roles, make shift changes, however even this may not be appropriate and the only outcome is still redundancy

    Personally, sit down with the employer and discuss how both parties can help each other
    Sometimes a solution may present itself, to which neither party originally was aware of
    For example one employee may have a recent change in circumstances and wants to temporarily reduce hours and/or specific days
    Even something simple as this can reduce employer costs, and benefit the employer
    Continue with such discussions at regular intervals
    If redundancies are clearly on the horizon, the shorten the length of time between such discussions (some companies reduce it to once a week)

    On the more positive side
    If there are a small number of employees, as in this case, then you place your unresolved grievances with the union
    They should only act on those, and NOT any other or national issue
    However, the union may request that you do so, and this can be retrospectively damaging
    We had this with the GMB membership, but in the end they ignored the national issue and advised the union they would not be participating as it did not directly affect them
    Last edited by m8internet; 10th July 2012 at 13:17.

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    Regular Member chewy71's Avatar
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    Red Unions are sweeter, best for caremalising too

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    Regular Member bigdave1701's Avatar
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    There are 8 members of staff selected for possible redundancy and of those, 2 will be going on Thursday (one from design & one from admin). The company stance on the situation is that it isn't financially motivated and the company is doing well but the £100k they spent on a new computer system has dramatically improved the workflow and now there isn't enough work to keep all of us on.

    There is a general feeling that our departments are being penalised for poor performance from the sales department or that in spite of the matrix system, they've already made their mind up who's going and will doctor the figures to suit. Problem is, it's not in the company's interests to tell us any more about where we stand than they legally have to and there is nobody within the company that will stick up for us or tell us if what the directors are doing is correct (just because they called it a consultation, doesn't mean what happened within the meeting constitutes one if you know what I mean). We all feel that if we are the lucky ones to keep our jobs they may decide to go back down this route again or use it as a weapon to suit their own needs in future.

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    Consultation works both ways
    This allows for both the employer to notify employees, but also for employees to offer alternatives

    Redundancy is obviously financially motivated, from the information provided, so the company excuse is very poor
    Even utilising a new investment in favour of staff is going to result in redundancies
    However most successful companies will absorb this and pass these staff into other roles, if this is possible
    If this is not possible then redundancy remains the only option

    One thing I note is the departmental roles of staff
    If one person from each of design and admin is made redundant, what happens to the remaining staff in that department?
    As above, in some cases the employees will offer to work on shorter contracts / job share
    This then has the benefit for the employer of flexibility in the event of holldays, sickness, etc
    Equally, when business volumes return these trained employees are retained and can then be returned to longer contracts

    Parallel to this are the comments about departments not happy at each others performance
    This is outrageous and does not bode well
    The company should work as one team, not separate bodies that fight against each other
    Yes, the sales team can be blamed for poor performance, but not in turn other teams if there is no work for them to do...
    In turn, why not transfer the excess staff to sales, clearly this is the weak link; every customer counts, without customers you have NO business
    They need not do direct selling, they can handle other jobs which frees up the sales experts to concentrate on what they are good at, selling

    Personally, this employer is being short sighted and has already decided the action that will be taken, and the redundancy candidates as well

    Equally, at least they are offering consultancy
    Some employers just shut up shop without any notice

    Finally, redundancy is a last resort
    It will inevitably cost money, and any of the above methods may avoid this, even if it does cost slightly more in the short term

    Then wonder why companies go to the wall...
    Last edited by m8internet; 10th July 2012 at 14:05.

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    Regular Member bigdave1701's Avatar
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    Most of us spent a lot of our own time creating in-depth documents as to how we could better utilise our time to avoid redundancy and were told that our ideas would be discussed with them at our consultations. At my consultation I tried to discuss my ideas and was told that they hadn't looked at them yet but would be doing that behind closed doors today. How can they discuss my ideas without me to explain them?

    The sales department are immune from everything within the company. They are the special ones who can do no wrong and are pampered by the directors.

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    As a company Director I can understand their lack of engagement in the issue; it pretty much feels as an "us and them"
    Such issues have to be tackled without personalisation

    I suspect this employer is not aware of the requirements for redundancy consultation
    Simply accepting written documents / statements is not sufficient
    Both parties MUST discuss the matter, the employer lists all the issues

    The next stage is between the employer and each individual

    I can also understand why the sales department appears immune, for the reasons explained above
    Without a sales department the company is basically dead
    However, they should remain accountable, just like any other department and/or employee

    If I was an employee there, I think I know what I would be doing right now...

  10. #10
    Regular Member bigdave1701's Avatar
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    I survived redundancy but Emma (my other half) didn't.

    There are some dubious scores on her matrix such as low points for attendance yet there's no criteria offered. and low points for disciplinary record despite her having never had a cross word with anyone.

    Add to this that one of the directors said to me a week ago that I'd "need to stay strong because Emma will need my support" And I think It's blatantly obvious that they always knew it was her that would be laid off and the matrix etc was just a smoke & mirrors excuse to get rid of the one that'd cost the least in redundancy costs.


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