When Elster Meetering Ltd. announced in October 2001 it would close its facilities in Leeds, England and move production to its plant in Luton, Ian Stewart, the company's vice president of human resources, knew that lengthy negotiations with union representatives were inevitable. He also knew he would need sophisticated legal help for a process he expected to be long and protracted.
Although Elster has no legal department, Stewart didn't have to worry about the cost of hiring external counsel. In fact, he didn't have to worry about legal costs at all.
Over time, membership expanded to include manufacturing companies, and EEF became known as "the manufacturers' organisation." But more recently, other organizations as diverse as utility companies, financial services organizations and even soccer clubs have joined EEF.
As the membership changed so did the legal and economic environment and EEF's mandate.
According to Schofield, that's why even members with significant in-house departments refer problems and difficult employment cases to EEF's lawyers.