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Militant managers sign up with the unions

Militant managers sign up with the unions Editorial comment Militant managers sign up with the unions Gentlemen of the boardroom, forget your present troubles for some weeks later that average gross earnings among blue and a moment and think what your successors could be doing on white-collar workers—including overtime—had penetrated the the labour relations front in a few years' time. £2,000 a year barrier for the first time. Newspaper reports could go something like this .. . 'The Again, averages warranted closer inspection of the wages National Union of Managing Directors today rejected the league. In doing so, it was significant to note that the to p Government's Phase 16 pay limit of £12,000 a year and voted wage earners belong to those unions popularly known as for a ban on overtime, beginning next week.' 'militant'. They include airport workers (£47 a week), printers (£44) and engineering workers (£40). But for those without a Futuristic, perhaps—but not at all improbable if the present powerful voice in the debate—hospital and farm workers, for trend in pay differentials between management and shop-floor example—the £2,000 a year pay packet remains a distant goal. continues. Already, two of Britain's biggest white-collar unions— Grantham estimates that in the past year management ASTMS and APEX—report an acceleration in management recruitment to APEX has doubled to 6,000 out of the union's membership. For the stark fact is that a growing number of quarter-million total membership—and he is confident that middle-managers are becoming disgruntled by what they see this will double again in 1974. as lack of jo b security and a steady erosion of their position in But the narrowing gap between salaries and wages does not the earnings league. appear to be only reason for this boom in management unionisation. Roy Grantham, general secretary of the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff, says that While the worst of the redundancy waves seems to have more and more junior and middle-managers (many of whom, subsided, there remains the unresolved question of how long it should be remembered, are tomorrow's board directors) are managers can escape the present industrial upheavals. Again, collecting union cards as they see industrial reorganisation the most pressing issue might well be not one of earnings but threatening their jobs and the Government's counter-inflation job security. measures curbing their pay. Predictably, Clive Jenkins' union is in buoyant mood about Grantham comments: 'We are making rapid progress in its own recruitment. Apart from reporting sizeable increases recruitment of those management grades which traditionally in membership of managers in banking, insurance and civil have steered clear of union involvement.' aviation sectors, ASTMS says that over the past 18 months it has recruited one third of managers—earning up to £5,000 a Because of Government 'interference', he says, these men year—in one of the country's major electronic companies. now find themselves on a fixed salary while people on the shopfloor can pierce the pay curb armour with bonus schemes Recruitment has taken place both on an individual basis and overtime. and through mergers between the union and staff associations. Management grievances over earnings are borne out by two Though these associations tend to be treated with contempt recent surveys, and another by the British Institute of Manage­ in some union quarters, ASTMS in particular regards them as ment—due out in the Spring—is likely to endorse the trend. an invaluable membership pool. 'Often these associations have A study by Inbucon/AIC Management Consultants, for neither the inclination nor the resources to call a strike. It is example, showed that average weekly earnings since 1969 rose then that members realise that palliatives don't work, and by 62 per cent, while executive salaries went up by only 39 per they want a fully-fledged trade union,' says an ASTMS cent—barely keeping abreast of cost of living rises. spokesman. On the face of it, the findings seemed encouraging; for the The British Institute of Management will admit to hearing first time the average executive salary had risen to £5,000-plus. 'rumblings' of discontent about erosion of earnings among But as with most 'average' statistics, there was a sting in the middle-managers, and adds pointedly that a case could tail—62 per cent of managers included in the survey were earn­ certainly be made in their favour. ing less than £5,000. It would certainly be interesting to note the reactions of Such findings from the executive standpoint were even more Messrs Grantham and Jenkins if management decided to swell discouraging when the Department of Employment announced delegate ranks at a future TUC congress! DECEMBER/JANUARY 1974 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Industrial Management Emerald Publishing

Militant managers sign up with the unions

Industrial Management , Volume 74 (1): 1 – Jan 1, 1974

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0007-6929
DOI
10.1108/eb056374
Publisher site
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Abstract

Editorial comment Militant managers sign up with the unions Gentlemen of the boardroom, forget your present troubles for some weeks later that average gross earnings among blue and a moment and think what your successors could be doing on white-collar workers—including overtime—had penetrated the the labour relations front in a few years' time. £2,000 a year barrier for the first time. Newspaper reports could go something like this .. . 'The Again, averages warranted closer inspection of the wages National Union of Managing Directors today rejected the league. In doing so, it was significant to note that the to p Government's Phase 16 pay limit of £12,000 a year and voted wage earners belong to those unions popularly known as for a ban on overtime, beginning next week.' 'militant'. They include airport workers (£47 a week), printers (£44) and engineering workers (£40). But for those without a Futuristic, perhaps—but not at all improbable if the present powerful voice in the debate—hospital and farm workers, for trend in pay differentials between management and shop-floor example—the £2,000 a year pay packet remains a distant goal. continues. Already, two of Britain's biggest white-collar unions— Grantham estimates that in the past year management ASTMS and APEX—report an acceleration in management recruitment to APEX has doubled to 6,000 out of the union's membership. For the stark fact is that a growing number of quarter-million total membership—and he is confident that middle-managers are becoming disgruntled by what they see this will double again in 1974. as lack of jo b security and a steady erosion of their position in But the narrowing gap between salaries and wages does not the earnings league. appear to be only reason for this boom in management unionisation. Roy Grantham, general secretary of the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff, says that While the worst of the redundancy waves seems to have more and more junior and middle-managers (many of whom, subsided, there remains the unresolved question of how long it should be remembered, are tomorrow's board directors) are managers can escape the present industrial upheavals. Again, collecting union cards as they see industrial reorganisation the most pressing issue might well be not one of earnings but threatening their jobs and the Government's counter-inflation job security. measures curbing their pay. Predictably, Clive Jenkins' union is in buoyant mood about Grantham comments: 'We are making rapid progress in its own recruitment. Apart from reporting sizeable increases recruitment of those management grades which traditionally in membership of managers in banking, insurance and civil have steered clear of union involvement.' aviation sectors, ASTMS says that over the past 18 months it has recruited one third of managers—earning up to £5,000 a Because of Government 'interference', he says, these men year—in one of the country's major electronic companies. now find themselves on a fixed salary while people on the shopfloor can pierce the pay curb armour with bonus schemes Recruitment has taken place both on an individual basis and overtime. and through mergers between the union and staff associations. Management grievances over earnings are borne out by two Though these associations tend to be treated with contempt recent surveys, and another by the British Institute of Manage­ in some union quarters, ASTMS in particular regards them as ment—due out in the Spring—is likely to endorse the trend. an invaluable membership pool. 'Often these associations have A study by Inbucon/AIC Management Consultants, for neither the inclination nor the resources to call a strike. It is example, showed that average weekly earnings since 1969 rose then that members realise that palliatives don't work, and by 62 per cent, while executive salaries went up by only 39 per they want a fully-fledged trade union,' says an ASTMS cent—barely keeping abreast of cost of living rises. spokesman. On the face of it, the findings seemed encouraging; for the The British Institute of Management will admit to hearing first time the average executive salary had risen to £5,000-plus. 'rumblings' of discontent about erosion of earnings among But as with most 'average' statistics, there was a sting in the middle-managers, and adds pointedly that a case could tail—62 per cent of managers included in the survey were earn­ certainly be made in their favour. ing less than £5,000. It would certainly be interesting to note the reactions of Such findings from the executive standpoint were even more Messrs Grantham and Jenkins if management decided to swell discouraging when the Department of Employment announced delegate ranks at a future TUC congress! DECEMBER/JANUARY 1974

Journal

Industrial ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 1974

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