… in brief

This week’s news in brief

Morrisons takes over

WM Morrison Supermarkets has agreed to buy rival retailer Safeway in a
£2.9bn deal. The combined company will have 598 stores and a turnover of around
£12.5bn. If the deal goes ahead, more than 1,200 jobs could be under threat
because of overlaps in the business. However, the deal still needs shareholder
approval.  www.morrisons.plc.uk

Firefighters to strike

Firefighters are set to stage further strike action and have walked out on
talks with mediation service Acas. The first 24-hour strike will now take place
on 21 January. Fire Brigades’ Union representatives said further conciliation
would be a waste of time because employers have stated they will stick to the 11
per cent offer tied to modernisation. The firefighters are also considering two
more 48-hour stoppages on 28 January and 1 February.  www.fbu.org.uk

BA pilots accept deal

British Airway’s pilots have voted to accept a new pay deal, negotiated with
the British Air Line Pilots’ Association (BALPA). BALPA deputy general secretary
Graham Fowler said the deal puts BA pilots in the top European league. The deal
will run until 31 December 2003.  www.balpa.org.uk

Less demand for staff

Demand for staff has weakened, according to research on the latest job
trends. The monthly REC and Deloitte & Touche Report on Jobs, shows that
although permanent staff placements increased for the 10th consecutive month in
December, the rate of growth was modest and less marked than that seen in the
previous two months.  www.rec.uk.com

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