Employers 'must engage more with workers'Employers should take the time to build strong working relationships with their staff to avoid the spectre of industrial unrest raising its head, according to a representative from Unison.

A spokeswoman for the trade union stressed that strikes are "always a last resort", but stated that bosses who fail to consult with their employees are likely to find themselves at greater risk of disputes.

"Employers need to engage with their workforce," she explained. "They need to talk early to their workforce, keep them informed and to consult with union representatives so that they can head off any potential conflict."

She added that improved consultation over significant changes such as redundancies or alterations to working practices can allow companies to manage any disagreement among their workforce considerably better, helping to maintain morale.

Her comments came after research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that just over one-quarter of private sector staff agreed that workers should take any action necessary to protect their jobs.

Posted by Cameron Thomson