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Article 8. Representations and warranties
The Borrower covenants, represents and warrants that:
I. Read and translate this text:
- Essentially industrial relations are concerned with the relations between management and production workers and concentrates very largely upon the conditions of service, the working environment and wages.
- In the 1960s and 1970s the power of the trade unions grew considerably and its influence was evident in all issues concerning worker-management relations; often it seemed to be greater than that of the employers. Various legislation was passed, some to strengthen and some to mitigate the strength of union power which, while it might be beneficial to workers generally, was seen to be damaging to the economy as a whole. In the 1980s, however, the power of the trade unions in Britain was significantly curtailed by Government legislation, with the result that there is now less anxiety on the part of employers and Government over the strike threat.
- Industrial relations were historically the concern exclusively of the trade unions and the employers’ organizations. As a general rule national level negotiations were carried out this set the pattern for pay and conditions throughout a particular industry. This formed the basis for separate negotiations between individual employers and union representatives, and the results of these negotiations were further modified by agreements at local plant levels. Two circumstances caused modifications to this general pattern. The first was a greater direct intervention of Government into industrial negotiations through imposed pay policies and consequent legislation, and the second was the growth of the demand among trade unionists for comparable pay and conditions throughout the different plants of an organization or throughout an industry. The Government itself is also now a large employer of direct labour which forces is to be a party to industrial relations negotiations.
- In order to reduce disruption through industrial disputes it was historically the practice to resort to joint consultation. Government supported the creation of joint industrial councils (JICs), consisting of equal numbers of members from employers’ associations and relevant trade unions. JICs dealt with a wide range of matters including conditions of work, welfare and training. In many cases there was an undertaking by the industry that matters of dispute had to be submitted to the joint industrial council before any strike action was taken. A further device to endeavour to solve industrial disputes is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, known as ACAS. These attempts to mediate between the parties in dispute are generally very successful.
- At local level disputes are often dealt with by joint consultative committees composed of representatives from management and workers. All manner of topics may be raised with such committees from safety to discipline, from welfare to training. Such committees do not have executive powers but are able to report and recommend. To ensure that they are trusted by the workers, which is a major requirement for their success, they should be composed of members from both sides who are knowledgeable and competent, whose integrity is unquestioned and whose judgement is dependable. It is also essential that the reports and recommendations made by these joint consultative committees are seen to be given due weight by management.
Neither method involves workers financially, but a third proposition does that of co-ownership. It proposes that workers become actual shareholders in their companies, thus participating in the distribution of profits and having the power to vote at annual general meetings. The actual acquisition of shares by workers poses a problem, especially as they can, if they work for a public company, purchase them through the stock market if they really desire to become co-owners.
- Two solutions have been successfully applied in practice. The first is to offer shares to workers at attractive prices and the second to award shares as bonus payments. The opportunity to share in the profits of their company is considered to encourage loyalty and co-operative attitude in the workers and to provide a positive incentive for greater productivity.
- Although it is assumed that shares will have voting rights, some managements may view this with apprehension and in some cases shares issued to employees have no voting rights so that control remains firmly in the hands of the existing shareholders and management. In such cases it is considered that the fact of profit-sharing is sufficient participation and incentive. Perhaps such managements have learnt a lesson from the experience of an American company which lost control to its work-force through the issue of shares with voting rights as bonuses, where the number of shares subsequently held by workers exceeded those held by the original owners.
II. Match the equivalents:
III. Match up the words on the left with the definitions on the right:
IV. Answer these questions:
Who needs unions?
Manual and service industry workers are often organized in labour unions, which attempt to ensure fair wages, reasonable working hours and safe working conditions for their members. British unions are known as trade unions because, as in Germany, they are largely organized according to trade or skill: there is an engineers’ union, an electricians’ union, a train-drivers’ union and so on. In other countries, including France and Italy, unions are largely political: workers in different industries join unions with a particular political position .Industrial relations tend to be better in countries, industries and companies where communications are good, i.e. where management consult workers on matters that will concern them, where neither side treats the other as an adversary, and when unions do not insist upon the preservation of completely uneconomic jobs and working practices. Although some employers and managers (and political parties) oppose the very existence of unions – even though, like doctors, lawyers, accountants and so on, they might themselves belong to a professional association with similar basic aims – many management theorists stress the necessity of unions. In the 1970s, Peter Drucker wrote that ‘Management is and has to be a power. Any power needs restraint and control – or else it becomes tyranny. The union serves an essential function in industrial society’. Yet one of the chief objectives of right-wing governments in the 1980s (e.g. in Britain and the USA) was to diminish the power of trade unions, and to deregulate labour markets in accordance with the ideal of free markets.
As a result of deregulation, working conditions in many industries in many countries have worsened, leading to the creation of a great many casual, part-time, unskilled jobs done by non-unionized workers. France, for example, has the lowest number of workers in trade unions in the industrialized world. The unions now represent less than 10% of the French work force, and most of those are in the public sector. The vast majority of French workers seem to have rejected the confrontational politics of the main unions, notably the communist-controlled CGT. Consequently, when the largely non-unionized French lorry-drivers blocked all the motorways in the summer of 1992, striking over the introduction of a new driver’s licence with a penalty-point system (and over their working conditions in general), the French government found no one to negotiate with.
In fact, a number of politicians and business leaders are beginning to regret of the weakness of unions. Some managers, including Antoine Riboud, the former head of the huge DANONE food conglomerate, actively encourage unionization because they insist that a big company needs someone to represent and articulate the needs of the employees and act as a social partner to the employer. But there is clearly a problem if workers believe that the unions are incapable of doing this, and choose not to join them.
- Peter Drucker: An Introductory View of Management
II Answer these questions:
III. Find the words in the text which mean the following:
1. people who work with their hands
2. a union for workers with a particular type of job
3. to ask someone’s opinion before making a decision
4. an opponent or enemy
5. too expensive, wasteful, loss-making
6. unlimited and unfairly used power
7. ending or relaxing restrictive laws
8. areas of the economy run by the local or national government
9. hostile, almost aggressive, seeking conflicts
10. a large corporation, made up of a group of companies
IV. Do some research and write a 100-200 word history of unions in your country. (For example: When were they first founded? Have they always been legal? Have there been periods in which they have been more or less powerful, or important, or necessary, than today?)
V. Match the equivalents:
VI. Translate into English:
A Loan Agreement
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