…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Alstom cuts workforce

Alstom, the French heavy engineering group, has announced it is to cut half
its 10,000-strong UK workforce. It blamed the decision on lack of domestic
sales for the company’s trains and power products and a lack of support from
the British Government in keeping manufacturing contracts in the country.  www.uk.alstom.com

Jobs at new low

UK manufacturing jobs have fallen to a low of 3.51 million, prompting calls
for the Government to provide more support for the sector. The Transport & General
Workers Union said manufacturing was an integral part of the UK economy.  www.tgwu.org.uk

More builders needed

Almost 400,000 new construction workers will be needed in the next five
years if government targets are to be met, according to the Construction
Industry Training Board (CITB). The CITB is launching Positive Image 2003, a
recruitment campaign to promote construction as an exciting and varied career. www.bconstructive.co.uk

Spitting DNA kits

Train staff are to carry DNA kits, in an attempt to clamp down on spitting
assaults. Central Trains is the first rail operator in England to issue drivers
and senior conductors with swab kits containing a pair of gloves, an evidence
bag and two sterile swabs to collect DNA from attacks.  www.centraltrains.co.uk

Paid leave could rise

The Government is considering increasing statutory paid leave above the
existing four weeks under compromise proposals that could allow the UK to keep
its opt-out from the EU Working Time Directive which is currently under review.
 According to The Times, the Government
believes this concession could help persuade the European Commission of its
commitment to work-life balance issues and avoid having to impose a maximum
48-hour working week across the UK.

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