This case study reviews the establishment, and first two and a half years of operation, of the plant council at BMW’s Hams Hall engine plant, a "brownfield site" development. 

The workforce has some "brownfield site" characteristics in that significant numbers of Hams Hall employees were recruited from the former Rover Group’s Longbridge and Solihull plants. The plant council, devised in consultation with the workforce and formally agreed with the recognised trade unions, differs from the collective bargaining arrangements which traditionally apply in the UK automotive industry, including some of BMW’s other UK sites. 

As well as being the forum for consultation on a wide range of issues, it also negotiates over pay and terms and conditions of employment. A key aim of the Hams Hall arrangements is to enable the plant to handle its industrial relations internally, though there remains scope for the involvement of external trade union officials as a fall-back, if management and employee representatives are unable to resolve matters themselves.

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