…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Rail strike postponed

Industrial action by the RMT union against South West Trains has been
postponed to allow for possible talks. RMT members had been due to stage a
48-hour walkout on 24-25 January over pay and disciplinary procedures. It will
now go ahead on 28 and 29 January with more strikes on 12 and13 February.

Pru outsources

US-based Prudential Financial has signed a 10-year deal with Exult to
outsource its HR function. The deal includes running the company’s HR call
centre, training and information services. Michele Darling, executive
vice-president of HR for Prudential, said: "It allows us to focus on the
strategic aspects of HR."  www.prudential.com

Selection ‘biased’

The Equal Opportunities Commission is calling for parliamentary selection
committees to be given training after research found prospective women MPs are
discriminated against. In a poll of about 500 parliamentary candidates, half of
Conservative and more than a quarter of Labour men agree with 81 per cent of
Conservative and 60 per cent of Labour women that selection committees favour
men.  www.eoc.org.uk

Family comes first

The chief executive of the Britannic group has resigned after two months
"to put family before business". Danny O’Neil’s resignation has
highlighted the increasing importance of work-life balance at all levels.
O’Neil said commuting from his Glasgow home to London and Birmingham left him
little time for his family.

Lower settlements

Reported pay settlements in manufacturing are at the lowest level for two
years, according to a report by the Engineering Employers’ Federation. Last
December’s figure for average pay settlements fell to 1.7 per cent, from 2.6
per cent the previous month. Pay freezes increased to 25 per cent of all
settlements for the final quarter of 2001. The report examined 175 reported
settlements.  www.eef.org.uk

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