From People Management, (magazine of the The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development):
HR’s new best friend
Union leader Bob Crow insists he wants a progressive relationship
His outspoken antics make him feared in boardrooms across the land, but union leader Bob Crow showed delegates at the CIPD’s annual conference a softer side as he insisted he wanted to work constructively with HR.
The RMT general secretary made a video address to the conference in Manchester, explaining that HR and trade unions could successfully work together to meet their common objectives, after being invited to speak by Darren Hockaday, London Overground’s HR director.
Crow advocated an “open agenda” and praised London Overground for the way its HR team, led by Hockaday, negotiated working patterns with RMT members for the London Olympics.
Speaking to People Management after the conference, Crow added: “We certainly don’t want our members to join the union to go on strike; we want them to join to get the best possible pay and conditions.”
He maintained that both trust and compromise were important elements in progressive negotiations. “We want good industrial relations, and a good relationship with the employer. And if we have have a dispute, it’s over a big principle – not a minor issue that should be resolved at local level.”
Though Crow was keen to emphasise the benfits of cooperation, the entende cordiale wasn’t all-consuming. He joked that “when you go out with an HR director you know of they’re successful because you go home with no trousers…they’ve ripped you off”.
* watch Bob Crows’s video address here