…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Asda is top employer

Consignia to announce 40,000 job cuts Asda has been named top employer in
the annual Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For survey. Also in the top 100
were hi-fi retailer Richer Sounds (3rd), Goldman Sachs (8th), Bacardi Martini
(9th), Capital Radio (27th) and Pret a Manger (34th).  www.asda.co.uk

LU strikes planned

Rail workers are planning further strikes in a dispute with London
Underground over safeguarding jobs if private contractors take over parts of
the network. The Rail Maritime and Transport Union claims LU has watered down
parts of an agreement relating to redundancies. The union intends to ballot
members on industrial action unless its terms are met.  www.rmt.org.uk

Unemployment falls

The unemployment rate has fallen over the past year, according to
International Labour Organisation figures. The number of unemployed people fell
0.1 per cent to 5.1 per cent in the year from November 2001 to January 2002
compared to the same period the previous year. Earnings increased by 2.7 per
cent in the year to January, down by 0.7 percent from December.  www.statistics.gov.uk

Driver shortage

The haulage industry is facing a driver shortage according to a report
released by Lex Transfleet. The survey finds that 35 per cent of drivers will
have left the industry or retired by 2007 and few young people are interested
in joining the sector. Drivers blamed congestion, long hours and a lack of
money for forcing them out of the industry.  www.lextransfleet.co.uk

Talks back on track

Train drivers in Scotland have halted industrial action planned for next
week to allow more time for talks. Strike action was planned for 26 and 28
March, but drivers’ union Aslef said it had been cancelled to allow both sides
to meet in London. Talks started last week and were scheduled to last nine
days.  www.aslef.org.uk

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