Unions plan super power

first_imgUnions plan super powerOn 13 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today TheAEEU and MSF unions want to merge to create a “super union”.Thenew union’s aim would be to recruit 1 million new members, claimed the AEEU.Thenew body would have a £1m recruitment budget in its first year, which wouldtarget under-unionised sectors such as IT and health. It would have an annualincome of over £60m and assets of more than £100m. It would have a totalmembership of 1.1 million.  RogerLyons, MSF general secretary, said, “Millions of working people in the UKhave yet to enjoy the benefits of trade union membership and it is these peoplethe new union will target.”Thebody would be the biggest affiliate to the Labour Party with over 100 MPs inits membership. It would represent members in firms like BAE Systems, Unilever,Pilkington and Rolls-Royce. Ballotforms are being posted to members to vote this week.www.aeeu.org.ukwww.msf.org.uk Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Firms see minimum wage rise as justified – for now

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Employerswill not suffer from the increase in the National Minimum Wage announced by theTrade and Industry Secretary last week, according to the CIPD.StephenByers said the rate would be increased from £3.70 to £4.10 per hour in Octoberfollowed by a rise to £4.20 a year later.JohnPhilpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said, “I think it is broadlyjustified. I think it is a bit more than some businesses would want, but if youlook at it in the context of the economy at present it is affordable.”Ifat some stage there was a major economic downturn the increase in the minimumwage might cause problems, but in the current circumstances it looks like areasonable increase.”TheCBI, which had opposed any increase in the minimum wage, also gave its support.Director general Digby Jones said, “The Government has gone as far as itcan without moving to a point where the damage outweighs the benefits. It isgiving a pay rise of nearly 11 per cent to some 1.3 million low paid workers tohelp ensure the wage doesn’t wither on the vine.”Butsome business leaders have criticised the stop-go nature of the increases sincethe pay floor was introduced in 1999.”Thereis no doubt that this will have some impact on business survival andconsequently on jobs, particularly in the textiles, retail and social caresectors,” said Chris Humphries, director general of the British Chambersof Commerce.SharenPhillips, HR director at ESC UK, said, “Does the minimum wage have to riseso steeply and so frequently? Does the Government realise that it isjeopardising the future of small businesses that do not have the profit marginsto sustain such increases?”ByBen Willmott Comments are closed. Firms see minimum wage rise as justified – for nowOn 13 Mar 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Joining Forces

first_imgJoining ForcesOn 1 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Themain problems in any big merger are how to keep morale high and key players onboard at a time of maximum insecurity. Three global HR directors with a wealthof experience in this field, share their knowledge MikeMoore, senior vice president, HR operations at GlaxoSmithKline, talksabout the challenges faced in keeping employees happy and profits buoyant whenthere is a long lead-in time to the mergerTenyears ago, in March 1991, I presented a paper called “Managing when yourmerger is announced” to a pharmaceuticals conference in Berlin. Many booksand articles had been written about managing the integration following amerger, but not about coping during that period of time between mediaannouncement of the intent to merge and the first day of trading of the newentity. This was my focus, the industrial equivalent of the early days of WorldWar II – the so-called “phoney war” – a time when seemingly not muchcan be done except watch the dark clouds of merger madness gather on the horizon.WhatI didn’t know back then was how much longer this in-between period was going toget over the next few years. When SmithKline merged with Beecham, which was thecase study I presented, it took a little over 16 weeks to gain regulatory andshareholder approval. This was considered a normal timescale. Recent experiencein many fields, such as media and telecommunications as well aspharmaceuticals, has restated the norm.InJanuary 2000, when GlaxoWellcome (GW) and SmithKline Beecham (SB) announced theirmerger plans, the expectation was that by the summer we would be done. In fact,European regulatory approval was given on 8 May and by 31 July, shareholders ofboth companies had voted to approve the merger. What hadn’t been anticipatedwas that it would take the anti-trust authorities in the US until December togive the go ahead. GSK shares began trading on 27 December – 349 days after theinitial announcement.Thechallenges of a delay are obvious and huge. First, there is no absolutecertainty that the merger will actually go through until very near the end ofthe regulatory process. One forced disposal of a product can change the deal toan extent not acceptable to one or both of the parties. Second, even if theassumption is made that merger approval will be forthcoming, there are severelegal no-go areas that impact on the integration planning process. As aconsequence, the third and biggest challenge is how to maintain morale andbusiness momentum. These became the two critical issues.Businessmomentum in both SB and GW was maintained. This is a fact. Both companiesreported earnings well within the range of City and street expectations. Howwas this achieved? By refocusing business leaders on the achievement ofbudgeted targets. This is when the investment in a pay-for-performance culturepays dividends – literally. The achievement of stretch goals quarter-by-quarterled to higher-than-usual bonus payouts in many of our businesses. The messagewas clear – to miss budget would be even more unacceptable than normal.Moraleis more difficult to define, manage and measure. In times of uncertainty,people lose commitment – their thoughts turn inwards. “Me” becomesthe focus – pay, security and career. They start focusing on their own agenda –all the things headhunters feed on. Managing uncertainty is of course always achallenge, but particularly so when most of the big questions like “Willthe merger happen?” and “Will there be a place for me?” can onlybe met by “Wait and see”.Thefact that our business results were good must give some indication that moralewas maintained. Very few key talents defected, yet another sign. It would benaive to suggest that everyone was comfortable with the situation but I’ve seenlower morale on a rainy Monday morning. I believe three things contributed tothis.Firstwas the saturation of the two companies with updates about the integration planand our progress against it (towards this goal) as well as “getting toknow you” information. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Second, adecision was made to start integration planning early. An overall IntegrationPlanning Committee was set up by mid-February. By March, many integration teamshad been set up in businesses and functions involving several hundred people.Not only did this enable us to hit the road running when the merger waseventually approved, but it had the benefit of focusing the energies and mindsof our key talent on the future of the new business. Third,we started the selection process for the top 120 or so jobs. The risks ofstarting early are obvious. People who are deselected are nevertheless requiredto stay in position until the merger is completed, which in this case wasseveral months later. Not only this, but the expectation was that they wouldremain effective contributors. Impossible? No! I’m always surprised how mostpeople in this situation act with absolute professionalism – it helps ofcourse, if the company reciprocates by treating them with the flexibility and dignitythey deserve. Arguably,an even greater risk is posed by appointing people early. They can easily losefocus on their current job while, at the same time, becoming increasinglyfrustrated because they can’t start their new one. The clear benefit of makingappointments early is that key talent, who are susceptible to poaching, can bereassured, and become focused on and committed to the future. In my judgement,this benefit far outweighs the risks. Wewere determined that the selection process had to be absolutely fair, equitableand objective. From the point of view of developing a new culture, there is nogreater indicator of what sort of company it will be than the process of howthe new company selects and deselects its people. With this in mind, we choseto use a third party, Spencer Stuart, to provide an impartial objective inputto the selection decision-making process. By the time the merger was finalised,over 600 leaders had been selected, ready, willing and able to drive thebusiness from day one. The overwhelming opinion was that the process had indeedbeen balanced and fair – even by those who left the company.Timewill tell how well we managed a challenging 2000. Early indications are good.One side effect of the delay and all of the frustrations of last year has beena bursting of pent-up energy this year to get on and move the new businessforward to become the indisputable leader in our industry.Continualtwo-way communication is at the heart of any successful merger, says LanceJ Richards, Teleglobe’s international director of HR Mergerand alliance work is challenging no matter where you sit in the organisation.From the HR chair, though, the impact on the employee population has to betightly managed. Having worked through HR issues in mergers or alliances at BT(with MCI), at GTE (with Bell Atlantic) and now with Teleglobe (and BCE), I’vehad a terrific opportunity to see some very large deals work through. AtBT, we entered into an alliance with MCI to form Concert, a globe-spanningentity delivering a wide array of telecoms products and services tomultinationals. At GTE, our merger with Bell Atlantic to create Verizon wasdesigned to build on the tremendous geographic achievements both companies hadattained, as well as the technological excellence each had developed separately.Inboth of these projects, ensuring that employees knew what was going on, who wasin charge and where it was leading to was at the forefront of HR initiatives.In these situations, there are some vital lessons which I’ve learned, and whichare leading agenda items for me:  –The CEO must be visible to the employees and interact with them.–The company must communicate – clearly, constantly and quickly.–The dialogue must be two-way. Employees must have a way to feed questions andconcerns back to the business and people in charge, then get answers.Inmany mergers and alliances, the corporate heads roll out a well-crafted visionof the new entity, and how it will lead its market, leap ahead of competitorsand so on. For the average employee, it’s like listening to the adults in aCharlie Brown cartoon – they hear nothing except what they want to hear – andall they want to hear about is the future of their own job. InM&A activity, where the intellectual capital that resides in the employeesis often of overriding concern, it is important that, at the end of the day,companies remember that all their employees are concerned about is making thenext car payment or paying the next quarter’s tuition for their child. The onlyreal solution here is communication.Therecent BCE acquisition of Teleglobe was pretty much a case study in how tomanage employee expectations with professionalism and candour. Simultaneouslywith the after-market-hours announcement to the public, all employees receivedan e-mail with a link to a pre-recorded streaming video, with messages fromboth the chairman of Teleglobe and chairman of BCE. They clearly outlined thereasons for the acquisition, as well as the benefits, and then committed tomaintain clear communications throughout the process.AQ&A board came up on our intranet, accessible in all 43 countries where wehave employees, with most questions answered within five business days. Withina month, BCE had appointed a new CEO. Within a week of his arrival he held thefirst of several meetings with employees. Initially he made presentations inperson in our primary employment cities, then changed to a live, multi-countrybroadcast format, followed by conference calls for outlying countries.Simultaneously, he launched a series of breakfast and lunch meetings with 15 to20 employees, which are still ongoing wherever his travels take him. Thus, hewon many points with employees for his candour and style. The key here was thatwe immediately opened a variety of one- and two-way communication venues forour employees, and ensured there was a steady flow of information to our people.CapGemini Ernst & Young’s global people resources management director CarolynNimmy describes a three-way merger which led to one giant company with60,000 staff worldwideLastyear the Cap Gemini Group embarked on an enormous challenge – the acquisitionof the consulting arm of Ernst & Young. This acquisition brought with it18,000 new colleagues. It required the group to bring together not just Ernst& Young Consulting but also Gemini Consulting and Cap Gemini IT servicesfrom within the Cap Gemini Group.Wetook the three global companies – each with strong brand recognition andleadership positions in their given areas of expertise – and merged them toform Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. The three companies brought togetherstrategic consulting capability, management consulting capability and strong ITconsulting skills to create one company of nearly 60,000 people. The HRchallenge was to bring these three companies together to form one cohesive unitand yet recognise the differences of the talented individuals. All this at atime when all these individuals had countless employment options in a thrivingmarketplace. Themerger established a broader client base and a richer talent pool for CapGemini Ernst & Young. We realised there was a vital need for our employeesto get excited about the new company while remaining on a clear path to success– despite the fact that our new organisational structure and dimensions werestill being defined. Inresponse to these needs, we developed and launched an innovative strategycalled “Professions” – an approach that orchestrated individuals’professional development. Professions are not organisational structures, rathervirtual teams that unite those individuals who have similar skills, interestsand aspirations. Each team recognised as a “Profession” iscollectively responsible for each member’s individual development and growth aswell as the evolution of the group as a whole. This growth and development issupported by training, mentorship, competency models and career guidance, aswell as direct involvement with the company over profession recruiting,resource planning, communications and knowledge management issues. Thisapproach is rare, if not unique, for a company of our size, but Cap GeminiErnst & Young’s leaders decided early on that it needed to reinforce thecompany’s people-centricity, with long-term professional growth as a corefocus. There are six professions – strategic consulting, business consulting,technology consulting, business development, operate and the enablingprofession. The Professions’ communities also provide thought leadership to theindustry and enable their members to acquire leading-edge business andtechnology skills. We believe the focus Professions bring helps membersdiscover and use tools that continually put them ahead of their peers at othercompanies. This helps our professionals quickly become industry gurus andthought leaders who can enjoy the personal and professional benefits thisaffords.Thecompany benefits by having access to focused professional groups that driveforward innovation and benefit our clients in the long run. Teams, clients,technologies and organisational structures will change many times, butProfessions ensure our people have a consistent peer group which helps them seegreater opportunities for their future with our company or their career pathsin this industry.Thesuccess of the Professions was tested through our International Focus Groupprogramme, an initiative aimed at gaining a comprehensive understanding for theglobal concerns and views of our new company as a whole. The programme, whichis comprised of physical events as well as virtual “temperature check”surveys and communication tools, measures the current “human state”of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. These results are continually assessed androlled into all Cap Gemini Ernst & Young’s learning efforts.Sincethe merger, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young has promoted the growth and long-termsuccess of its staff. The Professions model has provided a means to bringpeople together, regardless of the company or country they come from. It hasalso significantly strengthened our recruitment efforts, helping build a reputationas the employer of choice – a people-centric company that has gainedrecognition as one the world’s top services organisations.last_img read more

Report predicts tenfold rise in market

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Report predicts tenfold rise in marketOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Outsourcing and the use of HR technology is set to increase dramaticallyover the next 10 years, according to a survey called Predicting the workplaceof 2010. The research, by HR consultancy Cubiks, shows that HR will becomeincreasingly involved in business strategy and will rely heavily on nicheproviders of recruitment, assessment, training and reward management services. In the future, the responsibility for personal development will shift fromthe employer to the employee, claims the report. Barry Spence, chief executive of Cubiks, said, “If HR professionals canmake software and the Internet work for them, they will see valuable timereleased for channelling into more strategic activities.” The survey is based on 100 responses. www.cubiks.com Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Women losing out in e-economy

first_imgWomen are as likely to face sexual discrimination in the technology sectoras they are in more traditional industries, according to an Industrial Societyreport. It shows that despite the success of a few high-profile womene-entrepreneurs in the new economy, men still dominate the investment andfinance community. Dot Bombshell: Women, e-quality and the New Economy, by the IndustrialSociety’s Helen Wilkinson, finds that in the E25 list of most successfulInternet start-ups only three women are listed as founders. Only 1 per cent ofbusiness angels – self-made entrepreneur investors – are women. Wilkinson, founder of a new venture, Genderquake, said, “The huge potentialof the new economy to transform the relationship between gender and wealthcreation is not being realised. “An historic opportunity is in danger of being missed. The talents ofwomen are being neglected by the most vibrant part of the economy.” Wilkinson claims women face a harder time raising financing, have greaterfamily responsibilities and suffer from stereotyping about their abilities. Wilkinson, who highlights the fall in the number of women moving into IT,thinks that if women are given more encouragement and support they will make areal contribution to the economy. Women losing out in e-economyOn 3 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Changing face of FTSE 100 helps boost chief exec pay

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Changing face of FTSE 100 helps boost chief exec payOn 4 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Chief executives of FTSE 100 companies received a massive 15 per cent payrise last year, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It shows that the salary of the typical chief executive or full-timechairman reached £539,000. Average remuneration rises to £781,000 when theaverage bonus of 40 per cent is included. The increase in median base pay is almost double the 8 per cent rise in2000. Report author David Atkins believes that the jump in salary is due to achange in the type of company in the FTSE 100. He said, “This year’s report contains only 80 of the companies whichwere in our 2000 analysis. Almost all the new economy companies have left theFTSE 100, to be replaced by old-economy companies such as Associated BritishFoods, Hanson, Safeway and Wm Morrison Supermarkets.” Atkins said the large number of mergers and acquisitions over the past year– BP and Amoco, CGU and Norwich Union, Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beechamand Vodafone and Mannesmann – helped boost chief execs’ pay. He said, “It is not surprising that base salary increases to chiefexecutives are in double digits, reflecting the increased size of some companiesand the shortage of individuals with skill and experience to manage businessesthat increasingly are global.” Chief executive pay varies widely according to sector. In the consumer goodssector their median total earnings is more than £1m, but in utilities it is£597,000. Executive directors’ salaries rose by only 2 per cent. With the exception oftelecoms, the largest increases went to those in low-pay sectors, such asutilities, engineering and construction. www.monkspartnership.comBy Paul Nelson last_img read more


first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. This week’s guruIs vetter a prisoner of his own conscience?Guru’s past has returned to haunt him many times but few concern serioustransgressions of the law (stealing traffic cones doesn’t count). The managing director of CVvalidation.com, which carries out checks on jobapplicants, is probably wishing that he hadn’t promoted the company’s servicesso vociferously (News, 7 August). A Mori poll commissioned by the company showed that one in five peoplequestioned admitted exaggerating details on their CVs and one in three had liedabout qualifications or work experience. Mark Castley, who set up the online staff vetting company, was convicted oftrading while insolvent in the 1990s. Bet that little gem isn’t on his curriculum vitae. It pays to check car for talcum HR directors should be worrying about more than just the recession. They should be particularly vigilant for vengeful colleagues. Horror storiescompiled by online careers service Fish4jobs include one PA filling the airvents of her boss’s car with talcum powder and watching him and his VIP clientsjump out spluttering when the engine started. Another injected milk into her boss’s chair and spread mince under his desk,and one placed an ad with the manager’s home phone number in a lonely heartscolumn. More civil rights than slave trade Guru opened up a can of worms (hopefully this phrase hasn’t offended anyone)when he asked his disciples for the meaning of the phrase”nitty-gritty”. Many HR professionals have been told that it relates to the abuse sufferedby Africans on slave ships. Some believe it relates to the rape of women,others to the conditions on the lice-infested lower deck. But the website www.worldwidewords.org claims that the only written recordsof the phrase date from 1956, throwing into question its slave trade origins. The Bloomsbury Dictionary for Contemporary Slang claims the phraseoriginated as black slang in the 1960s and referred to grooming one’s scalp. HR networking forum UKHRD recently found that, far from being racist, theword became common among the black civil rights movement of that period when itwas used to describe hard bargaining. Got any more you’re worried about? Fine example of NHS staff shortagesSkills shortages are so severe that they are even being used as a legaldefence. A hospital consultant was recently found guilty of slapping one LondonUnderground employee and head-butting another. What could have provoked suchanger? A delay on the Northern Line.The judge, however, decided it was inappropriate to send him to prisonbecause the NHS is short of staff. He faces only a £1,000 fine – which ishardly onerous for a senior doctor – and the prospect of London Undergroundbanning him from the tube.Guru wonders what the sentence would have been had the guilty party beenfrom a different sector with skill shortages, such as construction or haulage? GuruOn 4 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

More information on pension plans

first_img Comments are closed. Asurvey of UK employers reveals that 21 per cent of those offering a finalsalary pension scheme plan to close it.Thesurvey of 252 employers by Employee Benefits magazine shows that nearlythree-quarters of employers with such pension schemes think staff do notappreciate the cost and effort that goes into running the scheme. About halffeel their staff do not understand their pension.Themagazine believes this is partly because pensions are complex and partlybecause employers are not communicating with their staff. DebiO’Donovan, editor of Employee Benefits, said final salary (also known asdefined benefit) pension schemes are proving expensive as a result of thedownturn in the economy.Sheadded: “Both the Government and employers, especially those which offerdefined benefit type schemes, need to make more of an effort to educate aboutthe need to make higher contributions, or to be prepared to work long past theage of 65.” More information on pension plansOn 16 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Union members fall in manufacturing sector

first_imgUnion members fall in manufacturing sectorOn 9 Jul 2002 in Manufacturing, Personnel Today Features list 2021 – submitting content to Personnel TodayOn this page you will find details of how to submit content to Personnel Today. We do not publish a… Previous Article Next Article Related posts:center_img Comments are closed. Job losses in the manufacturing sector have led to a slide in unionmembership over the past year, according to research by both the Government andthe TUC. Government figures on trade union trends by Labour Force Survey (LFS) showthere are 44,000 fewer union members in manufacturing than a year ago. There has been growth in members in sectors such as business services,public administration and retail, but this does not outweigh the decline inmanufacturing, finance and mining. The LFS figures, which include unions and staff associations that are notmembers of the TUC, show overall union membership is down by 30,000 to7,550,000 – a fall of 0.4 per cent. Separate TUC figures also find union membership has dropped overall by37,000 to 6,685,353 – a fall of 0.5 per cent. TUC general secretary John Monks, claimed the dip in membership was a blipand the overall analysis of membership trends show that union membership hasstabilised over the last four years after falling steadily during the 1980s andearly ’90s. He said: “These small falls are disappointing, but we were carefulnever to exaggerate the small increases in previous years, and the picture isnow one of stability after 20 years of decline. The challenge remains to unionsto use that base to recruit and organise.” last_img read more

Asda provides its workers with crèche

first_imgAsda provides its workers with crècheOn 20 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Asda has launched its first in-store crèche at its Ashton branch inScotland. The supermarket chain is employing a trained childcare team to look afterstaff members’ children. All-day childcare at the ‘Kids are us’ crèche costs£10 per day, and the scheme could be rolled out across other stores if itproves successful. Divisional people manager for Asda Wal-Mart, Sian Doyle, said the move waspart of the chain’s drive towards promoting a greater work-life balance for itsworkforce. “It is important to understand the childcare needs of all ourcolleagues, and to offer appropriate flexible working options andsolutions,” she said. “We’re very proud of the scheme. It demonstrates that Asda cares aboutits staff as well as its customers. “We’re extremely proud of the ‘Kids are us @ Asda’ scheme and feel thatAshton has set a precedent for all the other stores to follow,” she said. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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