Anti-union firm signs deal ahead of new law

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THE ELECTRICAL retailer Dixons, which has a tough anti-union reputation, yesterday became the first company to sign a recognition deal in the wake of the Government's employment White Paper.

The company has anticipated a law on union recognition which is due to come into force next year. Sir Stanley Kalms, Dixon's chairman, has been a leading supporter of the Conservative Party.

Dixonssaid that discussions on the "partnership" agreement were at an advanced stage before the White Paper was published, but the union movement will claim the company as a highly significant "scalp", paving the way for more such voluntary deals.

The agreement with the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union covers 1,600 technicians and back-up staff employed by Mastercare, the group's after sales service, but does not include shop assistants. The union is keen to extend its coverage to the rest of the 20,000 Dixons workforce.