Investment at Unipart 'cut if Labour wins'
Thursday 03 April 1997
Mr Neill, a fervent supporter of Thatcherite union policies, also claimed that a high-profile speech by Labour leader Tony Blair in the Far East last year, advocating a stakeholder economy, was based on one of his own speeches.
Launching a typically scathing attack on Labour's employment policy, Mr Neill labelled the party's plans to force employers to recognise unions, which he said were part of a drive to implement the European Social Chapter, as "foolish" and "a step backward."
The policy states that employers should recognise unions in individual factories if a majority of staff votes for it.
Referring to recent moves by Unipart to invest more than pounds 90m in four joint ventures, Mr Neill warned: "We would not have made this investment if we'd had the Social Chapter. If we revert to that mindset it will have a profound impact on our forward investment plans."
Though Mr Neill's opposition to union recognition is well known, Unipart has a strong reputation for encouraging employee involvement, including its much publicised "University" for staff training. Unipart this year donated pounds 50,000 to Conservative Party coffers.
The most surprising claim was that Mr Blair had copied a speech by Mr Neill urging employers to adopt the vision of a stakeholder economy, a concept long advocated by the privately owned Unipart group. "That speech was based on one of my speeches. Peter Mandelson told me that," Mr Neill said.
A veteran of union disputes during a spell at British Leyland in the 1970s, he said: "I 'm not anti-union, I believe we've done things which mean there should be no need to have a union."
Asked whether Labour's policies had become more friendly to the business community, Mr Neill said:
"Blair has done a good job of leading his party but it's by no means clear whether he can run a complex economy. I suspect there are a lot of things we don't know about Labour's policies."
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Bangkok Bomb: Thai police name Adem Karadag as suspect arrested over blast that killed 20
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...