Global HR round-up

Polish president calls for migrants to come home

The president of Poland has made a plea to Polish workers to return home and help revive the country’s dwindling economy and tackle skills shortages. Lech Kaczynski said there was now a severe lack of skilled professionals in Poland, partly due to mass migration since the former accession state joined the EU in 2004.

An estimated 100,000 Poles are thought to have come to the UK in the past two years. Kaczynski said the government was treating the exodus as an “interim arrangement”. He said: “We have many Poles working in the UK, but I don’t think this will last long. I can only hope that they will eventually go back to Poland, as Poland will be in increasing need of skilled professionals.”

The country’s unemployment rate fell from 17.6% to 14.9% in 2006, but Kaczynski said employers were still having problems finding skilled workers due to migration to the UK.

Half of Croatians unhappy with their jobs and plan to leave

More than half (55%) of Croatian employees are dissatisfied with their jobs and do not plan to stay with their employer for longer than a year, according to a survey.

Almost one-third (30%) of the 1,000 Croatian workers polled by careers website MojPosao said they would stay with their present employer for a period of between one and five years. Work conditions, salary and professional development were all cited as key concerns. More than half of respondents said they expect to be offered a better role within the next five years.

One in eight Croatians also admitted to faking sick leave, the survey showed. The average time spent off was four days, with fatigue and stress cited as the most common reasons, followed by family obligations, interviews for other jobs and extended weekends. Employees with lower salaries were found to fake sick leave more frequently.

250,000 Indian mill workers strike over pay and conditions

A quarter of a million Indian mill workers went on an indefinite strike in West Bengal last week, demanding better pay and working conditions.

The 250,000 workers, represented by 20 trade unions, said they would continue strike action until the owners of the 59 jute mills agree to meet their demands. Five unions have opted out of the strike, but most of the jute mills, which produce cheap natural fibres, will remain closed. West Bengal’s labour minister Mrinal Banerjee said he would try to resolve the issues.

 Jute mill workers last took strike action in 2004, which lasted for nine days, when unions demanded productivity-linked wages. India is the world’s largest producer of raw jute, accounting for 50% of the world’s raw jute product. About 40 million Indian farmers are also involved in the industry.

Former MD to sue investment bank for age discrimination

A former managing director at US banking giant Morgan Stanley is suing the firm for age discrimination.

Edward Sullivan, 56, was fired last May, after 25 years at the firm. He has filed a lawsuit against the Wall Street-based investment bank, seeking $30m (£15.4m) in actual and punitive damages, and his old job back.

He claims he was fired after two of the firm’s HR staff submitted a ‘poison-pen critique’ and passed it off as his performance appraisal.He claims he was axed simply because of his age.

A Morgan Stanley spokesman in New York denied the allegations, saying: “This lawsuit is absolutely without merit and we will contest it vigorously.” He added: “This individual’s job was eliminated as part of a legitimate business reorganisation that had nothing to do with anyone’s age.”

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