In the debate leading up to the publication of the proposed Government White Paper Fairness at Work, companies which have de‐recognised unions have been portrayed by the unions as looking backwards to “Victorian” employment practices. This paper traces the development of “single status” ‐ effecively the de‐recognition of trade unions ‐ at BP Chemicals. It indicates that, after an initial phase of “macho” tactics at its Baglan Bay site, management adopted an apparently more consensual approach at its two other main sites utilising ballots of workers for the “single status” package. Further, the package introduced Employee Forums on each site which formed the basis of the establishment of a European Works Council. As such it leads to a questioning of the effectiveness of measures in the White Paper to bring about a return to trade union recognition.
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