Not many years ago it would have been unthinkable to have an industrial strategy for either construction or manufacturing without either embracing trade union involvement or addressing the challenges of industrial relations.
However, nowhere on the 78 pages of Construction 2025 is there any mention of trades unions, any role they might play, or any benefits or impediments that they might represent. Neither does the term ‘industrial relations’ make any appearance.
Today’s industry leaders evidently see no significant role for trade unions and make no mention of them in their vision for the future of the industry. Unions make no appearance either in the firm commitments or in the broad aspirations set out in the document that is meant to “transform British construction into a real force to be reckoned with”, to quote government chief construction adviser Peter Hansford.
There is a seat for Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy on the 30-strong Construction Leadership Council, but what influence he is able to exert remains to be seen.