Managers 'resorting to bullying staff'

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MANAGERS are increasingly resorting to 'bullying' tactics in a drive for higher productivity, according to the country's largest private sector white-collar union.

The Manufacturing Science Finance union yesterday launched a campaign against bullying in the workplace, which it says has increased considerably as unions have come under legal attack.

Chris Ball, a national officer of the union, told an MSF conference on the problem that some companies were resorting to aggressive tactics as a 'cheap and easy way to shed staff'. He said the scope for macho management practices had increased because of the widespread introduction of performance-related pay and individual contracts.

Harsh management practices had increased at a time when the rights of workers to complain about unfair treatment had progressively been withdrawn, Mr Ball said.

The union is to seek procedures for workers to complain without the fear of 'even more intimidation'.

Liz Eastham, a 41-year-old MSF member, told the conference that she resigned from her job as a sales person with a company selling health care products after her life had been made 'intolerable' by a manager. 'After 20-odd years of continuous work and of tolerating macho managers, both male and female, I'd had a basinful and resigned . . . We must stop this brutal treatment of people at work.'