Headlines: January 11th, 1999

A new survey indicates that unless attitudes to unions change – both among workers and employers – membership will continue to decline.’The Dynamics of Union Membership in Britain’ analyses patterns of union membership at work, looking at factors which affect decisions to belong to a trade union and whether these have changed since the 1970s.

Findings show that the critical moment for union membership is when people enter the labour market. Once in the labour market, workers then tend to remain either in – or out – of a union.

The DTI published the report and is behind schemes, such as unions, which give employees a voice. Ian McCartney, DTI Minister of State, said: “The Fairness at Work White Paper aims to promote partnership in the workplace, making provision for collective representation where that is what the majority of the workforce want. Collective representation can give employees a more effective voice in discussions with employers.”

“We aim to launch a new scheme to train managers and employee representatives to develop such partnerships. ”

Copies of the report are free and can be obtained from the DTI Order Line (0870 1502 500) quoting the title and reference number (URN 98/807).