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Are Social Partnership Agreements the Way Forward in the New Millennium Social partnership is very fashionable right now It has become the new buzzword in Industrial Relations The new government the TUC and the CBI are all promoting partnership at work every week there is another conference held somewhere in the country on the topic of partnership There is also a huge amount being written about the issue some Industrial Relations commentators have even hailed this as the most exciting thing to happen to UK industry in years However not every group completely agrees with this For example some groups believe that Social Partnership has had a very negative effect on British Trade Unions At wwwlabournetorguk a group have named a bulletin board Solidarity It is a page dedicated to challenging social partnership and its apparent corrosive effects on union power It is very typical of the types of arguments put forward by groups that are oh so against social partnerships Stakeholders like the authors of solidarity believe that social partnerships tie unions to the coat tails of employers What they want is a new unionism which opposes subordination to the global market and builds on the experience of the Liverpool Dockers This group is completely opposed to any kind of privatisation and really wants more from unions than just a concern for working conditions They want a break with the narrow work place concerns of non-political trade unionism and believe that unions should fight for the interests of the working class and oppressed as a whole They also see a need for a repeal of all anti-union legislation and an end to state interference into unions such as social partnership agreements Taken from Solidarity the journal that openly states its purpose is to challenge social partnerships in trade unions here are some facts that display how social partnerships have had a harmful effect on British trade unions h In
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