07 Oktober 2003
On 17 September 2003, the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) announced that its members in the Royal Mail had voted against taking industrial action in a dispute about pay and conditions. Contrary to the expectations of most observers, Royal Mail employees voted not to strike by 48,038 votes to 46,391, a majority of 1,647. The outcome of the ballot averted what would have been the first national postal strike since 1996, and was widely seen as a rebuff for the CWU’s left-wing leadership.
07 September 2003
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and CEEP UK- the British affiliates of the European social partner organisations, the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of Europe (UNICE), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) - have agreed a document  giving guidance on telework. Talks between the three organisations were prompted by the July 2002 agreement on teleworking  between their European-level counterparts (EU0207204F ), and were held under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which published the agreed guidance in August 2003.  http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/individual/telework.pdf  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/news/2002/oct/teleworking_agreement_en.pdf  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/social-partners-sign-teleworking-accord
03 August 2003
On 7 July 2003, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published a discussion paper, The UK experience of European Works Councils , seeking views on how European Works Councils (EWCs) set up by UK-based companies have been working in practice. The principal aim of the exercise is to build up a 'stronger evidence base' from which the UK government can develop its approach to the EU-level discussions on the possibility of revising the 1994 EWCs Directive (94/45/EC ), which are due to get underway later in 2003. The European Commission has indicated that it will begin consultations with EU-level trade unions and employers’ organisations on the revision of the Directive in the autumn, raising the prospect of amendments to the Directive being brought forward sometime in 2004 or 2005.  http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/europe/ewcdoc.pdf  http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31994L0045&model=guichett
21 Juli 2003
EU Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services  seeks to avoid 'social dumping' by ensuring that a minimum set of rights is guaranteed for workers posted by their employer to work in another country. The basic principle is that the working conditions and pay in effect in a Member State should be applicable both to workers from that State, and those from other EU countries posted to work there. The Directive covers undertakings established in a Member State, which, in the framework of the transnational provision of services, post workers to the territory of another Member State.  http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31996L0071&model=guichett
20 Juli 2003
On 7 July 2003, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published a consultation document  setting out how the UK government proposes to implement the EU information and consultation Directive (2002/14/EC)  (EU0204207F ), and inviting comments on draft Regulations. The approach taken by the draft Regulations is based on a framework established in discussions between ministers and representatives of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), who agreed an 'outline scheme' for the implementing legislation which is incorporated in the consultation document. The draft Regulations also take account of responses to the DTI discussion paper published in July 2002 (UK0208101N ), and views expressed at a series of round-table discussions held around the country. The government is now consulting on the detail of draft Regulations, their practical operation, and the sort of guidance that employers and employees will need in applying the new legislation. The government has set a four-month consultation period (ie until 7 November 2003) during which interested parties may submit comments and a second set of round-table discussions will be held.  http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/consultation/i_c_consdoc.pdf  http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=32002L0014&model=guichett  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/final-approval-given-to-consultation-directive  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/government-issues-discussion-paper-on-employee-involvement
20 Juli 2003
In mid-June 2003, negotiations between the European-level intersectoral social partner organisations - the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE)/European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME) and the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) - resulted in agreement on a joint statement on managing change and its social consequences. The statement identifies a range of factors that can contribute to preventing or limiting the negative social impact of restructuring, including 'good social dialogue'.
07 Juli 2003
On 12 June 2003, the delegates at a special conference held in Glasgow by the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) voted three to one in favour of accepting a revised pay deal agreed between the local authority employers and union negotiators. The following day, the pay agreement  was formally approved by the National Joint Council for Local Authorities’ Fire Brigades (NJC), bringing to an end the long-running pay dispute within the UK fire service.  http://www.lg-employers.gov.uk/documents/pay_conditions_stats/fire/njc-1-2003.pdf
07 Juli 2003
On 25 June 2003, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published a report report  urging the government to protect the right of UK employees to work more than 48 hours a week if they choose to.  http://www.cbi.org.uk/ndbs/press.nsf/0363c1f07c6ca12a8025671c00381cc7/a25d7307dd360bf880256d4f002e09d0/$FILE/Working Time Report.pdf
09 Juni 2003
On 31 May 2003, it was announced that Tony Woodley, a left-wing candidate in the election to become general secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU), had beaten his main rival, Jack Dromey, by 66,985 votes to 45,136. Mr Dromey was tagged by the press as the modernising, 'Blair-ite' candidate, whereas Mr Woodley had indicated that he would make common cause with left-wing leaders of other trade unions in campaigning against the Blair government’s 'New Labour' policies. Barry Camfield, seen as being further to the left than Mr Woodley, polled 28,346 votes in the election, while Jimmy Elsby, the choice of outgoing general secretary Bill Morris, came in fourth place with 13,336 votes. The turn-out of members voting in the election was 20.9%.
21 April 2003
On 6 April 2003, new legislation came into force which gives parents of children aged under six or of disabled children aged under 18 the statutory right to request flexible working and to have their request seriously considered by their employer. The government’s aim is to facilitate dialogue between working parents and their employers about working patterns that meet parents’ childcare responsibilities as well as employers’ business needs. The new provisions are based on recommendations made by the Work and Parents Taskforce (UK0107137N  and UK0112105N ), which included representatives of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/series-of-government-initiatives-follows-election  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/parents-to-have-legal-right-to-request-flexible-working