Human resources of the world unite!

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The Independent Online

The management-speak revolution is about to hit the shop floor, and industrial disputes may never be the same again.

The management-speak revolution is about to hit the shop floor, and industrial disputes may never be the same again.

The Bob Crows and Andy Gilchrists of the future are being sent by union leaders on courses in people skills, strategic planning and budgetary control, run by the country's biggest provider of management training.

So the next time a dispute breaks out, both sides could be singing from the same convoluted hymn book. Instead of "the lads and lasses aren't happy", we could hear "there has been a step-change in dissatisfaction among our human resources". Instead of "one out, all out", it could be: "an imagineered strategy for inclusive withdrawal".

And instead of "we aren't talking again until there's more money on the table", it'll be "the paucity of interim deliverables is not facilitating the prospect of an out-of-box solution to our critical-to-quality objective". For strife, read euphemism.

This is not, of course, the intention. According to John Monks, TUC general secretary, training is badly needed. "Leadership and manage- ment are not terms that rest easily in a democratically based organisation," he said. "This is about unions improving their management practices in a businesslike way." It seems he, for one, has embraced the new learning.

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