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Trade Union and Employment Forum

Workers in the Boardroom: worker directors and lessons from history

10 December 2016 - 11:00 am - 13:00 pm

Lecture Theatre S-1.04, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

"The people who run big businesses are supposed to be accountable to outsiders, to non-executive directors, who are supposed to ask the difficult questions, think about the long-term and defend the interests of shareholders. In practice, they are drawn from the same, narrow social and professional circles as the executive team and – as we have seen time and time again – the scrutiny they provide is just not good enough. So if I’m Prime Minister, we’re going to change that system – and we’re going to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but employees as well."

These were Theresa May's words as she launched her bid for leadership of the Conservative Party on 11 July 2016. At the time her speech was thought to mark a departure from traditional Tory themes - but what is the history of the idea of the worker on the board, what might May have really meant by her words and how can trade unions and political parties respond? History & Policy’s Trade Union Forum have convened an expert panel of historians and practitioners who will discuss these questions from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

Read a full summary of contributions from the speakers here.

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Trade Union Forum

Geoff Hayward, Unite Senior Representative and previous Supervisory Board Member of Allianz SE

Janet Williamson, Senior Policy Officer at the Trade Unions Congress

Professor Michael Gold, Professor of Comparative Employment Relations, Royal Holloway University of London

Dr Adrian Williamson QC


11:00 am - 13:00 pm

Lecture Theatre S-1.04, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS
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