Vive la difference in labour relations
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WHAT HAVE British Bakeries and the National Coal Board in common? Both have closure plans that are causing employees anxiety. There the similarity ends because the kinds of union with which they have to contend could not be more different.
The United Road Transport Union's leaders, who are particularly concerned with van salesmen, have no political aspirations and respect democracy. In its attitude URTU is poles apart from the National Union of Mineworkers. This is made clear in Wheels, the URTU journal, which says:
"We hope to change British Bakeries' mind about some of their plans but we will not make the same mistake as another trade union. Our decisions on the way we react to these closure proposals will be based on how our members react when they vote in their branch meetings."