Posts Tagged ‘cost savings’

The other kind of trade union cuts battle: saving cost within Unite

18/01/2011, 11:29:42 AM

by Richard Horton

At the end of this month, Len McCluskey will officially become general secretary of Unite. The Simpson-Woodley or Woodley-Simpson era of joint leadership will pass. It will be the end of the union’s first post-merger era.

At face value, McCluskey will be inheriting a financially robust organisation. In 2009, the union recorded an operating surplus of £9,384,000 from the income it receives from its members. However, Unite has not been able to shield itself from the rigours of the credit crunch. It has been affected by the recession as much as any other body. For instance, in 2008 it had to write down the value of its properties and investments to the extent that it recorded a deficit of £28,114,000. While even now the union’s cash flow is being negatively impacted by an increase in its net pension liability – which is affecting almost every organisation that sponsors final salary pension schemes.

The merger of amicus and the T&G in 2007 was heralded as a means of generating greater industrial and political benefits for the membership of the two unions. Cost savings would be captured through the merging of two sets of staff, two sets of properties and two sets of campaigning operations. Beyond anything, cost savings would be captured through the sheer scale of the new union. Unite would be more efficient as an organisation and therefore more efficient in campaigning for its membership. (more…)

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