Last year, an alarming 750,500 working days were lost to industrial disputes, up from just 157,000 in 2005. No surprise, then, that the 'winter of discontent' cliches are being dusted down, along with the Christmas decorations. The Government recently secured a court injunction requiring the Prison Officers Association to comply with a no-strike agreement, ending a national wildcat strike. But this is not a viable tactic for most employers: unions are unlikely to sign a deal relinquishing their chief industrial weapon unless they're in a feeble bargaining position. And even if you include a no-strike clause in an agreement with a union or worker representatives, it will almost always be presumed not to be legally enforceable. Employers may still have a legal remedy if threatened with action - for example, if the organisers fail to comply with statutory balloting requirements or plan unlawful secondary action. But organisations that foster 'partnership' at work by communicating with staff representatives and involving them in strategic business decisions have the least to fear from an increasingly wintry industrial relations climate.
Finding time, living fearlessly and leading at speed are on this month's boardroom reading list.
Equitable Life's days have been numbered ever since its 1990s fall from grace, but it hasn't taken decline lying down.
Lessons from Emperor Diocletian, a US computer giant and a British bank.
We've made progress when it comes to improving diversity, but the UK's approach to inclusion shows that it just isn't working.
The Sports Direct founder has shown his trademark boldness in acquiring House of Fraser, but does he have the creativity to turn it around, asks Superunion CEO Jim Prior.
Moving office? Restructuring? New IT system? Change needn't be painful if it's managed well.