Speaking on behalf of 118,000 members across the private and public sector, Mike Clancy said: "It’s time to get real. Unions are not likely to get trade union recognition in most parts of the private sector just by winning recognition ballots. We need to be more creative.
"There is potential electoral gain for any political party that allows employees to have a collective voice - triggered by workers who want it, in a similar fashion to works councils," said Clancy.
In the fringe meeting, attended by shadow employment minister Ian Murray MP, Prospect's general secretary fleshed out a new vision for private sector organisations where employees and employers are not already in a formal working relationship.
“In many Nordic and German companies, models of co-determination based on works councils underpinned by legal powers, are delivering employee voice. It’s now time for UK political parties to consider this successful model,” he added.
Clancy asked the Labour Party to consider his approach as a capitalist model that reaches out to all, including employees in the private sector where trade unions are not recognised.
He also challenged trade unionists to find more creative solutions and provide a much-needed boost to employer-employee relations.