AA union ‘assured’ Saga merger will not result in job losses

The head of the AA’s main union has welcomed management assurances on job security following the motoring services group’s £6.2bn merger with Saga.

Alistair MacLean, national secretary of the AA Democratic Union (AADU), said he had been given an “absolute assurance” there would be no job cuts or changes to employees’ terms and conditions by new chief executive, Saga boss Andrew Goodsell.

“I am happy in the sense that for the foreseeable future there will be no job cuts,” he told Personnel Today. “In fact, there will be job growth and improved service.”

The threat of offshoring back-office roles, which was thought to be under consideration two years ago, has also been lifted, MacLean said.

The AADU claims it has 4,000 members among the AA’s 7,200-strong workforce. MacLean said he had been “quite impressed” with Goodsell’s plans to raise workforce morale, which has plummeted over the past three years. A new low-cost employee share package will be launched and the AA’s existing final salary pension will remain un­­touched, said MacLean.

The £1.7bn takeover of the AA in 2004 has best represented trade unions’ high-profile fight against private equity firms after owners CVC and Permira cut 3,000 jobs and reduced patrols.

Super union Unite and the United Steelworkers union in the US have joined forces to launch an international campaign to improve the regulation of private equity firms.

Union hate-figure bags government advisory role

Damon Buffini has secured a top job advising Gordon Brown’s new government.

Reports claim Permira’s managing partner will sit alongside the likes of The Apprentice star Sir Alan Sugar on the new Business Council for Britain, which will advise on policy for skills and industry.

Earlier this year, the GMB union paraded a camel outside a church Buffini was attending. It was alluding to the biblical saying that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

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