…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Rules of engagement

The European directive on staff consultation has been adopted by the
European Parliament. The new rules will oblige companies to inform and consult
with employees on matters relating to the employment situation and company
developments. Companies with more than 150 employees will have three years to
implement the changes after it is drafted into UK law.  www.europarl.eu.int

BA cuts more jobs

British Airways is to cut 5,800 jobs, abandon flight routes and reduce the
size of its fleet in a bid to reduce costs by £650m a year. The cuts, which
include a third of head office and support jobs, will take the total of jobs
axed at BA since August 2001 to 13,000 – 23 per cent of the airline’s workforce
of 56,700.   www.britishairways.com

Royal Mail strike call

Royal Mail management has been accused of ‘provoking unofficial industrial
action’ by the Communication Workers Union, with national postal strikes
planned for March. The union is campaigning for a 5 per cent pay rise but Royal
Mail has offered 2 per cent. Options to be discussed include 24-hour strikes,
an overtime ban or a refusal to work Saturdays.  www.consignia.com

In work figures high

The number of people in work stands at a record high since records began in
1979, at 28.2m, according to the Office for National Statistics. Despite this,
the number of people out of work in the UK increased by 34,000 in the past
three months. The figures also reveal the average number ofhours worked in
October to December 2001 was 32.6 per week.  www.statistics.gov.uk

Heritage dispute

English Heritage staff are set to decide on strike action over a 3.5 per
cent pay award. Staff members of union Prospect are being balloted on action
that could affect hundreds of popular tourist attractions, such as Stonehenge
and Battle Abbey. Prospect says the ballot follows a series of low pay
settlements at English Heritage.  www.prospect.org.uk

Heavy industry woe

Pay deals in engineering and manufacturing firms are continuing to fall,
according to the Engineering Employers’ Federation. Average settlements for the
three months to January fell by 0.1 per cent to 2.3 per cent compared with the
previous quarter. The EEF said more than 60 firms have frozen their pay. It
claims the manufacturing and engineering sector is firmly depressed.  www.eef.org.uk

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