This case study looks at the long-standing recognition/partnership agreement Abbey financial services company has with the Abbey National Group Union (ANGU). 

Abbey is one of the UK’s leading personal financial services companies with more than 18 million customers. At the end of 2003, Abbey employed around 26,000 employees (full time equivalent), at the same time, ANGU had some 8,970 members (three-quarters of them women), almost all of whom are employees of the Abbey National Group.

The UK’s implementation of the EU employee information and consultation Directive raises the question of whether Abbey’s consultation arrangements may need to be adapted to embrace universal elections for employee representatives – participation in the existing machinery is restricted to ANGU representatives. However, both management and the union want to avoid disruption to the current procedures, which they regard as highly effective.

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