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Even the unions are on strike now!

Even the unions are on strike now!

I remember the Winter of Discontent, record strikes caused numerous planned power cuts to conserve dwindling fuel reserves as the unions ran amok with Calaghan’s Labour government…..but I’ve rarely known a union’s own staff to go on strike before!

GMB strike in protest at the union’s ‘horrendous culture’

Yet, this morning’s BBC headlines revealed that GMB staff are striking, fed up with the Union hierarchy’s reticence to tackle “horrendous culture of sexism and outright misogyny within GMB”.

4 years ago, an independent barrister was called in to investigate alleged bad behaviour at the GMB, she concluded (quoted the BBC) that “bullying, misogyny, cronyism, and sexual harassment were endemic in the union. Her report found there was a bully-boy atmosphere, describing the union as a hostile environment for women, and she said a ‘complete transformation’ in culture and practices was required.

The trouble is GMB staff don’t believe the report has been taken seriously, and there are said to be increasing disclosures of harassment and other bad behaviour at the union.

So who represents trade union staff when they want to strike? Well another trade union of course, Unite are representing the striking union workers, and this years TUC bars may host some uncomfortable conversations.

Older males and junior younger females, typical culture for sexual harassment

Now I’ve been working with Trade Unions for several decades, and almost without exception they are male dominated outfits, particularly at senior levels….and what happens when senior experienced males co-exist with junior younger females…..well if you’ve been following our columns you will know this is the typical environment for sexual harassment.

The best way to prevent sexual harassment is to train, communicate and train again, and take action against offenders, creating confidence for those suffering harassment to call it out.

Due diligence training help from myHRDept

Fortunately, myHRdept provides free due diligence training materials for our clients to train and communicate standards to their staff, and we’ll be refreshing materials periodically throughout the year.

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR, payroll or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515, email us at  enquiries@myhrdept.co.uk to discuss your requirements, or contact us via our website and we’ll call you back.

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