HR news round-up: HR stories making the headlines 10 September 2010

A round-up of HR-related stories in today’s newspapers.

Workers at manufacturing giant BAE Systems were said to be in “shock” last night after the firm unveiled plans to axe hundreds of jobs, reports the Independent. Unions said that almost 1,000 jobs at five military factories and other sites would be lost in the latest cull, warning that the cuts could be the “tip of the iceberg”. Meetings will be held at the affected areas next week, but union officials sounded a warning for the future of the defence industry with the current strategic review coupled with looming spending cuts set to be announced by the Government next month.

Hampshire Constabulary plans to axe 1,400 posts – 20% of its workforce – including police officers, according to the BBC. The move – driven by a requirement to make £70 million worth of savings over the next four years – will see positions left unfilled, redeployments and redundancies, Chief Constable Alex Marshall said. Staff and unions will discuss the plans which will go to the police authority. The Police Federation said it was a return to the “dark days of policing”.

About 2,500 jobs have been saved after administrators agreed to sell the bulk of Connaught’s failed social housing group to building firm Morgan Sindall, reports the BBC. The construction company will pay £28 million for the company, and take over the majority of its maintenance contracts. The employees will be transferred to Morgan Sindall’s own affordable housing unit, Lovell Partnerships. Connaught’s social housing group employs around 4,400 people in total. The rest of Connaught’s 10,000 workers are unaffected by proceedings.

The owner of the Blackwell specialist books chain is handing ownership of the business to its staff, according to the Guardian. Toby Blackwell is drawing up a new constitution for the chain – which has 37 permanent shops and 40 that open temporarily on campuses – based on the John Lewis partnership. “No one will own shares,” he said. “There will be an annual bonus, paid out of profits, and the chairman will get the same percentage [payout] as the part-time lady on the till in a store.” As part of a bid to cut costs and reshape the business, Blackwell announced earlier this week that it is closing its head office and sending staff to work in its stores. There will be 25 redundancies.

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