This week’s news in brief
Honda union deal
Staff have voted for union recognition at Honda in the biggest ballot yet.
Over 70 per cent of the vote was in favour of the AEEU representing the
Swindon-based staff. Honda had previously rejected a voluntary recognition
agreement, but co-operated after it was taken to the Central Arbitration
Committee. Seventy-two per cent of the 4,000 employees voted. www.aeeu.org.uk
Row over council pay
Local government has slammed staff pay claims, describing them as
"completely unrealistic". Unions want a rise of £1,750 or 6 per cent
depending on which is greater, but the Employers’ Organisation for Local
Government claims this would add on average 11.7 per cent, costing local
government in England and Wales £1,685m. www.lg-employers.gov.uk
Firms opt for job cuts
Employers are blind to the alternatives to redundancy and are responding in
traditional fashion to the economic cool-down by making swingeing job cuts,
claims joint research by Reed Executive and CIPD. More than 80 per cent of the
870 staff surveyed have clear ideas about what their employer could do to
temporarily cut costs without making redundancies.
Call centre stress
Staff in call centres should be given better training and more time to
recover after receiving an abusive call, according to new advice for employers.
The HSE found many of the industry’s 2 million staff feel stressed at work.
Half of those questioned are permanently monitored electronically to measure
performance and four out of five were judged on the duration of calls and the
time lags between them. www.hse.gov.uk
Costs put before staff
Cost factors are more important than staff demands for work-life balance in
the adoption of teleworking. An IRS survey suggests that teleworking is driven
by hard business reasoning rather than concern for employees’ welfare.
"Closing an office" and "using space more efficiently" were
key reasons for many of the 215 employees surveyed. www.irseclipse.co.uk