A few weeks ahead of the 1992 general election, Building took a look backwards

A programme for recovery

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A programme for recovery

Having published a legislation agenda in June 1987 - which outlined the issues that an incoming government would need to address - it considered how well the Conservative government had handled the construction sector over the previous five years, and offered comparison on where the next government needed to go. On industrial relations, it said: “‘Two pieces of surgery are needed. First an operation to cauterise the forger and tax dodger who so corrupt the 714 voucher payment for subcontractors. Happily the system is under review. Let the review be radical.

“Perhaps more importantly, the check-off system of union recruitment where workers are reduced to negotiable numbers between employer and union must be stopped. Unions are necessary. Workers need to belong. But they must make that choice for themselves. Yes, they can authorise the boss to pay the dues. But employers who hand over weekly cheques for round numbers of unnamed members to unions to buy short-term peace conspire in a system that does them nothing but long-term harm.”