[2022] Motion 70 Single-union recognition agreements/sweetheart deals

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress applauds the solidarity of union members and affiliated unions standing together to take action against the poor employment practices of some employers.

Congress asserts that trade unions must continue to work together wherever possible to achieve recognition and defend workers’ rights in an ever more hostile anti trade union environment.

Congress notes with concern that some unscrupulous employers have sought to avoid recognising unions with an occupational and established membership claim, including through the practice of ‘sweetheart’ or single-union recognition agreements.

Congress maintains that such arrangements do not represent the interests of workers and the trade union movement.

Congress further notes that despite the revision of the TUC disputes principles and procedures in 2019 to “place a greater emphasis on unions working together on a sectoral and workplace level”, there is little to prevent the current or continued practice of single union recognition agreements.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. confirm that single union recognition or “sweetheart” deals are not acceptable among TUC-affiliated trade unions

ii. encourage Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) applications to be made on behalf of all unions with members in the workplace/sectoral/bargaining unit

iii. update the TUC disputes procedure to better reflect the ambition for sectoral unions to work to secure joint recognition agreements.



› In paragraph three, after “recognising”, insert “affiliated”, and delete “or single union”.

› Replace paragraph five with: “Congress urges further action in support of the TUC principles to place “greater emphasis on unions working together on a sectoral and workplace level.””

› In paragraph six, sub-paragraph i. delete “single union recognition or”.

› Replace sub-paragraph ii. with: “encourage sector affiliates to work together to secure recognition”

› In sub-paragraph iii., replace “update” with “consult affiliates on updating”



› In the title of the motion, insert “in the education sector” after “sweetheart deals”

› In paragraph 1, insert “in the education sector” after “some employers”.

› In paragraph 2, insert “in the education sector” after “continue to work together”

› In the final paragraph, add additional sub-paragraph iv.:

“iv. encourage and support strong relationships between unions in the education sector, supporting unions to work in collaboration to tackle shared challenges.”