Warwick Agreement

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The Warwick Agreement was struck at Warwick University in July 2004 between the Labour Government and UK trade unions. Its purpose was to secure continued union affiliation and funding for Labour after a period of deteriorating relations. In return, the Government made a number of policy commitments to be implemented in a third-term of office after the General Election of 2005. These commitments included: a promise to establish a Women and Work Commission, legislate against the two-tier workforce in public services, protect public service pensions, moderate the government's privatization policy, retain the Post Office in public ownership, support the EU agency worker directive, and establish tripartite sector forums in low-wage industries. Government action has been taken in some of these areas but not in others and, consequently, scepticism has been voiced about the significance of the agreement; it falls well short of the social pacts between unions and government seen in other European countries. In 2005, the TUC adopted a proposal for Warwick Two, based on a Trade Union Freedom Bill, which would strengthen individual rights at work and remove some of the constraints on union ability to launch industrial action.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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