Chemical Industries Association has urged employers and unions to take the lead on environmental and economic issues

The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) today (6 June 2007) called on employers and unions to take the lead on environmental and economic issues as well as debating the employment and social agenda.

Simon Marsh director of communications and employment relations at the CIA said: “Building effective workplace relationships means having the courage to discuss and work on issues that go beyond traditional industrial relations.”

Simon Marsh, who chaired the 'Working with trade unions' conference for employers and unions organised by IRS, (part of the XpertHR Group) being held in London, pointed to examples in the UK and in Europe where chemical employers and unions have built strong relationships by working on matters such as the environment and human health as well as the reward aspects of employment.

He told the 150 delegates at the conference, "sticking to the confines of employment (social) issues which are of course critical to the relationship is not enough in today's world of globalisation and environmental awareness. In the chemical industry we have found that the workforce and their representatives have been central to the progress we have made in the development of products that tackle the challenge of climate change.”

Marsh also drew attention to the work employers and unions jointly do to raise Government and EU awareness of the need to ensure a progressive chemical industry can compete on a world stage. "By working together and showing others the results of joint activity on the non-employment issues, we believe legislators will recognize the wider societal benefits of an industry that cares about effective industrial relations.”