November 16, 2006 05:59 ET

Papermaking industry sets new Partnership deal

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 16, 2006) - Employers and trades unions in the papermaking industry are poised to sign a new agreement that sets out a new approach to employment relations across the industry.

A joint group comprising senior industrialists and national officials from the trades unions, Amicus, TGWU and GMB, under the independent chairmanship of Professor Frank Burchill has worked out a new Partnership Agreement to 'work together, grow together, and stay together' setting out modern approaches to aspects such as work-life balance, dignity at work, learning and skills, flexibility and productivity.

Amicus will now brief Union representatives on the Agreement and balloting their members over the next few weeks. Tony Burke, along with Amicus National Officers, Peter Ellis and Alan Harvey, will be strongly recommending the Agreement to workers in the industry.

Amicus Assistant General Secretary, Tony Burke, said:
"The new agreement is an important step in securing modern working terms across the industry, such as work-life balance, actively promotes learning and skills, provides a safer workplace, promotes dignity at work and gives employees an opportunity to be informed and consulted and actively involved in improving the performance of their workplace."

Martin Oldman, Director General of the Confederation of Paper Industries, the representative body of employers said: "The new agreement takes us away from the old adversarial approach to a better common platform to jointly tackle the issues that hamper productivity and profitability in the workplace."

Professor Burchill commented: "The agreement provides an essential framework for all the parties to work as partners in tackling the challenges together so that both mutual and different interests can be accommodated in securing a healthy future for the papermaking industry."

The papermaking industry employs over 10,000 people at over 60 locations in the UK but has struggled to remain competitive in the face of strong international competition and soaring energy prices. Papermaking along with printing is one of the few industries in the UK to have industry-wide bargaining arrangements and a dispute over pay in 2004 prompted employers and trades unions to consider better ways to work together, and the DTI gave support to the project that included assistance from ACAS to consult managers and trade union representatives on the way forward.


Contact Information

  • Amicus National Officer
    Peter Ellis
    07774 663499
    Amicus Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761