Exposed: the secret art of union negotiators

The latest UnionDays instalment is published today and exposes the secret art of negotiation. 

Well, it has to be an art doesn’t it? For sure, it isn’t a science.  But if it is indeed an art, then what sort of art is it? 

I rather think that dance is a better metaphor – there is a choreography to negotiations, and many stylistic interpretations on the part of the dancers negotiators.

In this episode we meet them all – the absolute autocrat, the stonewalling supremo and the “Hail Fellow, Well Met” diamond geezer.  And then there’s your opposite number who claims to be just like you.

We also meet colleagues I’ve been honoured to sit alongside – Billy Hayes and Jeannie, now Baroness, Drake and think about what made them the outstanding negotiators they were.

And I reflect on my own, distinctly uneven, progress in this art – from suffocating manhole shafts in southwest London to a timely reflection on what happens when negotiations fail, why striking is sometimes the only option left and ask whether negotiations always boil down to a question of power?

Listen and decide for yourself!

For more details on the content of the podcast:

The notion that the Tube’s Northern Line kinks to avoid an old plague burial site is much believed but also unsupported by evidence (so far!). However, tragically, two workmen did indeed perish from lack of oxygen in the confined space at the foot of a manhole on Clapham Road.  The protocol for safe working in confined spaces referred to in the podcast is here.

There are links here to more on the P&O scandal, Critchley dispute, CitySprint collapse and Philip Green’s notoriety. There’s more on the demise of Carillion here. The website of conciliation service ACAS  is here.

The absence of trade union bogeymen and women is dealt with in this article. I’ve written here on the deficiency of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, and the line “I will stand on the picket line not because I can but because I must” is taken from a post written by Ben Abrams

Access this and all episodes at bit.ly/UnionDays – Thanks for reading, listening, rating, and sharing! 

UnionDays is a member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network

Leave a Reply