Industrial relations climate and staff attitudes in the fire service: a case of union renewal?

Industrial relations climate and staff attitudes in the fire service: a case of union renewal? Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the evidence for trade union renewal in the UK fire service. Its aim is to consider two main questions: “How have union‐management relations and the industrial relations climate been affected by management reforms?” and “To the extent that there is deterioration in the IR climate, has this had an effect on union leadership style and also on union commitment and participation amongst ordinary members?” Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on interviews with managers and union representatives and a survey of firefighters in the north of England. Findings – The research finds that a marked deterioration in the industrial relations climate led to changes in union leadership and to an increase in union commitment and participation amongst ordinary members. The poor climate created the conditions for union renewal by bringing forward union activists with more inclusive styles and by raising membership awareness of the need to vigorously defend their existing terms and conditions. Research limitations/implications – There is a research gap in the industrial relations literature on how industrial relations climate impacts on the renewal of workplace trade unionism. Originality/value – This paper helps to fill the research gap in the industrial relations literature on how industrial relations climate impacts on the renewal of workplace trade unionism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Employee Relations: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Industrial relations climate and staff attitudes in the fire service: a case of union renewal?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0142-5455
DOI
10.1108/01425450610633046
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the evidence for trade union renewal in the UK fire service. Its aim is to consider two main questions: “How have union‐management relations and the industrial relations climate been affected by management reforms?” and “To the extent that there is deterioration in the IR climate, has this had an effect on union leadership style and also on union commitment and participation amongst ordinary members?” Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on interviews with managers and union representatives and a survey of firefighters in the north of England. Findings – The research finds that a marked deterioration in the industrial relations climate led to changes in union leadership and to an increase in union commitment and participation amongst ordinary members. The poor climate created the conditions for union renewal by bringing forward union activists with more inclusive styles and by raising membership awareness of the need to vigorously defend their existing terms and conditions. Research limitations/implications – There is a research gap in the industrial relations literature on how industrial relations climate impacts on the renewal of workplace trade unionism. Originality/value – This paper helps to fill the research gap in the industrial relations literature on how industrial relations climate impacts on the renewal of workplace trade unionism.

Journal

Employee Relations: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: Industrial relations; Trade unions; Fire services; Employee attitudes; England

References

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