RMTleader Bob Crow points the finger at HR for lacking the skills and experienceto negotiate with unions and reach agreement before disputes escalate out ofcontrolEmployers need to regain the ability to settle workplace disputes “overa pie and pint”, according to abrasive RMT leader Bob Crow. Speaking exclusively to Personnel Today, Crow believes a lack of training inindustrial relations within HR is one of the reasons for the upsurge in strikeaction over the past 12 months. He believes informal bargaining and negotiatingskills have slipped off the employment relations agenda and need reviving. He called on the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development tointroduce more practical training in its HR qualification to equip employerswith skills to prevent workplace disputes from escalating into strikes. “It is not just over the table that issues can be resolved, it can bedone with a pie and a pint. We can walk round the corner and say ‘this is wherewe are coming from, where are you coming from?’ and reach an agreement,”he said. High-profile disputes Besides the ongoing firefighters’ strike, high-profile industrial disputesover the past 12 months have included the first nationwide industrial action bylocal government staff over pay for 25 years and strikes to support an increasein London Weighting. Disputes over pay also interrupted South West Trains and Arriva TrainsNorthern services and hit Manchester Airport, while concerns over safety led tosocial security staff walking out. Crow believes many of these strikes could have been avoided had the hands-onindustrial relations skills of HR professionals involved been up to scratch. “People who have come into HR seem to go a bit too much by the text bookfor me. They have gone to university, yet have not been told how thingsactually happen,” said Crow. “I’m not against people being taught the theory of industrialrelations, but they need the practical know-how as well. Their training shouldbe practical – about the reality of industrial relations life out there in theworkplace.” Foster good relations However, Crow dismissed suggestions that industrial relations are at crisispoint. He believes the current industrial relations climate is a good one.”In the main industrial relations are very good, there is a bit of ‘to-ingand fro-ing’ which you will always get. “At the end of the day the only way you are going to get something isby fighting for it. No-one is going to come along and say ‘we feel sorry foryou, here is a pay rise’, ” he said. Crow wants HR professionals at all levels to foster a good workingrelationship with their opposite number in their organisation’s recognisedunion or employee representative body. He believes this would help reduceindustrial tension and promote openness and constructive discussion. Despite his criticism of HR, Crow supports the profession’s bid for astrategic role within organisations, and wants more money invested in thefunction. “I would support having an HR director on every board so thereis HR input at the highest level in every company,” he said.”Organisations put a great deal of emphasis on HR when there is a disputerather than putting the emphasis on it before there is a problem to ensureresources are already in place to help resolve things.” The RMT leader is critical of union/employer partnership agreements. He saidhe would never sign a ‘no strike’ deal with an employer and believes that anysavings an organisation makes through a partnership deal should be splitequally with staff to improve their terms and conditions. “Some of the unions that have signed up to partnerships agreements havebasically handed themselves over to the employer lock stock and barrel,”he said. “Organisations know the unions will never take strike action. Sowhere has it got them?” Union members on the board Crow questioned the value of union members sitting on company boards – as inthe case of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency featured in Personnel Today (4February, News). “Union officials on the board! I mean what are they going to do? Arethey really decision- makers? I don’t think so. It’s just paying lip service.They are there as a bit of a stooge so companies can say they have trade unionmembers on the board who are being consulted.” Crow believes union militancy rather than partnership with employers is theway to increase flagging union membership. A recent report by the London Schoolof Economics and the Policies Studies Institute revealed that union membershiphas dropped by a third in the past 18 years. “Trade union members have been disillusioned with paying money in to aunion that pays lip service to their needs,” said Crow. “Members want to see that their union is punching away for them. Ifthey see the trade union is fighting for them then they think ‘that is for mybenefit’. ” The RMT’s membership statistics support his claim. Since hardliner Crow waselected to succeed Jimmy Knapp as general secretary of the RMT last year, theunion’s membership has jumped by 13 per cent from 55,000 to 63,000. Crow speaks out for the firefighters…Crow described the Government’sthreat to impose a pay deal on the striking firefighters as”scandalous”.The Fire Bridges Union (FBU) is demanding a 40 per cent payrise to take starting pay to £30,000 a year, while the Government has offeredan 11 per cent increase over three years, linked to modernisation of theservice.The RMT general secretary believes the Government should letthe FBU and employer negotiate a settlement, then worry about how it will befunded. Crow fears Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s threat toforce a settlement could have serious implications for industrial relations. “The Government’s threat to introduce new anti-trade unionlaws is scandalous,” he said. “Jack Straw has already gone back onhis word and stopped prison officers from striking. Who will it be next –railway workers, public sector workers?”When staff realise that they cannot withdraw their labourthey will just walk out illegally. What will happen if 10,000 LondonUnderground workers walk out? What will the Government do, put them in prison?”…but blasts Mason’s role in tubestrike Crow launched a scathing attack on London Underground’s (LU) HRdirector Bob Mason for his role in strikes by tube train drivers last autumn.Crow and Mason clashed last year when RMT train drivers on theTube walked out over pay. Crow claims that LU broke its promise to reduce the£1,600 pay gap between drivers of passenger and engineering trains.The dispute was only resolved when London Mayor Ken Livingstonepromised he would take the dispute to non-binding arbitration when he takesresponsibility for the tube this spring.”I’ve got no time for the bloke at all,” Crow said ofMason. “The mayor has made it clear he [Mason] will not be staying when hetakes over the Tube.””Mason has been parachuted in by the Government to smashthe unions, yet he is the one who caused the problems.” Crow said the RMTwanted to take the dispute to arbitration, but Mason refused. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Crow accuses HR of lacking the skills to resolve disputesOn 11 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today
WHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays READERS POLL question is: Do you feel that the city should add an additional tax on downtown businesses to encourage development?Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “LAW ENFORCEMENT, READERS POLL, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections. You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected]’S FOOTNOTE: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City County Observer or our advertisers. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Students will have virtual classes Monday. By MADDY VITALEIn less than two weeks the Ocean City School district is opening its doors for the start of the 2020-21 school year.And while the faculty, students and their families, will all navigate the new normal, Board of Education members said the district is ready during a remote meeting Wednesday. The buildings have been vigorously cleaned, and the district will continue to meet all of the safety and health guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control they emphasized.During the Aug. 5 meeting, the board voted to approve the school district’s Return to School Plan, which offers a blend of remote learning and in-person instruction, with a choice for all-virtual instruction as well. Students have not had in-person instruction since the mid-March COVID-19 shutdown of schools and other public facilities throughout the state, as per Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order.The first day of school is Tuesday, Sept. 8. In the hybrid model, the students have been broken into two groups to ensure social distancing. They will attend school two days a week and learn remotely for three days. There is also the Virtual Academy for those who will not attend in-person instruction.“We are ready to start the new school year and we are opening Sept. 8,” Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor noted, adding that Virtual Academy will also start on Sept. 8.While some other schools in the region and state, have opted to start the year all-remote, the district was approved by the state Department of Education to continue on the track to offer the blend of in-person and remote learning. Dr. Taylor and School Board President Joseph Clark have said, however, that the reopening plan is a fluid one. Should the number of COVID-19 cases rise in the state again, and the district has to close, it is fully prepared to teach all of the students through the Virtual Academy.During the public portion of the meeting, one parent asked the board to consider an in-person freshman orientation. Currently, there is a video that the students and parents could watch.“The school is safe and clean and ready to go, but it is also ready to hold a student orientation. Extraordinary times take extraordinary efforts,” he said. “The video is prepared through the eyes of someone who has been in the school, not someone who has not been in the school. Even though the video was a good attempt, it does not replace actual, onsite physical orientation.” Clark expressed thanks to all of the people who made returning to school possible including those who maintain the buildings and added that the district is doing its best.Since the shutdown, Ocean City school officials worked with stakeholders from various areas, students, faculty, and community members, to create the hybrid model for learning. “The administration has been working diligently with the committees. They were a great group of people. They tried their best. We have been working in this district diligently to upgrade all of the facilities – the gas lines, HVAC system,” Clark noted. “We are able to do it. Wishing everybody the best and hopefully everything will stay on course and continue to move forward with the new normal.” Board Vice President Jacqueline McCallister commended the administration and the committees and added, “I’m happy and excited for the new year and to have the kids back in school.” For more information on Ocean City schools, visit www.oceancityschools.org.
Belgian waffle specialist Wafflemeister plans to double its UK sites in 2015 and reach £5m in revenue by year-end. Currently holding 11 sites and hitting £3m revenue at the end of 2014, founder Alex Troullier is about to sign for a kiosk site in East London with an opening date of June. He is also looking for a larger site in north London and for sites in Reading.Beyond its company-owned stores, of which there are currently seven, Troullier is seeking franchisees, with franchises in Eastbourne and Leeds opening soon and discussions for a further three ongoing. The first should open in September, and Leeds could become a multiple site deal.He has also “just signed” for five sites each in Bahrain and Qatar over the next three years, which will be within malls, possibly airports and other high footfall locations. The first of these should be open within three months. Troullier’s business partners in the countries are a government fund and a private equity business.There are already three franchises in Abu Dhabi and the franchise partner is looking to open in Dubai. “There are offers on our table,” Troullier told British Baker. “We are speaking to other countries – some Saudi companies, some Kuwaitees and there are some discussions in the US.”Academy launchAnother focus for Troullier is the new Wafflemeister Academy launching in April at its flagship Kingston site in south-west London, which opened in November last year. All employees – 60, excluding franchises – will go through training at this location to improve the training system, motivation and to give employees a better chance for career progression.“The UK sites are going very well and I’m pleased with like-for-like sales. We’re in very positive territory with average spend increasing by 20p to around the £5 mark. We are able to keep costs of sales consistent, so margin is strong and as we become bigger we are getting better deals from suppliers.”Meanwhile, online ordering, soft-launched towards the end of 2014, has tripled sales since launch and remains a focus.Wafflemeister has seven company-owned sites in London, three franchises in Abu Dhabi and one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Load remaining images The Magpie Salute, North Mississippi Osborne, JJ Grey & Mofro | Red Rocks | 9/22/17 | Photos by Bill McAlaine On Friday, September 22nd, the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, hosted a beautiful evening of music with JJ Grey & Mofro, The Magpie Salute, North Mississippi Allstars, and Anders Osborne. The North Mississippi Allstars and Anders Osborne teamed up for a special, show-opening performance dubbed North Mississippi Osborne, which saw the two acts collaborate for an energized set.The Magpie Salute, the new rock project headed up by The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson, Marc Ford, and Sven Pipien, came next, with a show pulling heavily from their debut self-titled album, which was released earlier this year. The Magpie Salute also had a special surprise for attendees, with Luther Dickinson coming out and sitting in during “What Is Home” and “Good Morning Captain,” which came toward the end of their performance. From there, JJ Grey & Mofro tore down the house with their soulful headlining set, playing a number of beloved classics as well as some choice covers throughout the evening.You can check out a photo gallery of Friday’s Red Rocks show with JJ Grey & Mofro, The Magpie Salute, and the North Mississippi All-Stars and Anders Osborne below, courtesy of photographer Bill McAlaine.Setlist: The Magpie Salute | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | 9/22/17Set: Thorn in My Pride, Black Moon Creeping, Sting Me, Omission, Shalimar Dreams, Shipwreck, Every Picture Tells A Story, Custard Pie, What is Home*, Good Morning Captain*, Wiser Time, RemedyNotes: *w/ Luther DickinsonSetlist: North Mississippi Allstars | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | 9/22/17Set: Need To Be Free, Prayer for Peace, Deep Elem Blues, Mojo, Mojo, Back Together, Lonely Love, Dyin’ Days > Down by the River, Brush Up Against You
By Dialogo March 10, 2010 The United States, which considers Ecuador vulnerable to organized crime, will donate vehicles to the Ecuadorean armed forces for the fight against drugs on the border with Colombia, the U.S. embassy in Quito announced Thursday. The embassy indicated that the diplomatic delegation’s military group would turn over fifteen trucks worth $783 thousand dollars to the Ecuadorean Joint Chiefs of Staff Friday. The trucks “will be used to transport brigades to the units operating along the northern border (with Colombia), replacing the tactical vehicles currently used,” the embassy added. Three weeks ago, the United States donated one million dollars’ worth of equipment to the Ecuadorean military, also to combat drug trafficking along the Colombian border (720 km long). In a recent annual report on the fight against drugs, Washington judged that “Ecuador remains vulnerable to organized crime due to historically weak public institutions and corruption.” Meanwhile, Ecuadorean security minister Miguel Carvajal denied Wednesday that his country is the principal export route for Colombian and Peruvian cocaine being shipped to the United States. In 2009 Ecuador chose not to renew a cooperation agreement that had allowed the United States to use a military base in the fishing port of Manta (in southwestern Ecuador) for aerial anti-drug activities for a decade.
(WBNG) — Broome County Executive Jason Garnar announced that he lifted unnecessary travel order on Friday. County Executive Garnar said the order has been in place since Tuesday, March 17. While the order has been lifted, Garnar is advising residents to stay at home as much as possible. Garnar also talked about the reopening plan. He said he is confident the plan will be ready in 10 days. Additionally, Garnar says all visitors entering the county buildings that are still open must wear a face mask or cover. For more information visit the Broome County coronavirus website.
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Major Spanish regions shut shops, bars and restaurants, car plants ground to a halt and Easter parades were cancelled as Spain prepared to enter a 15-day state of emergency on Friday, in a sharp escalation of its fight against the coronavirus.Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the number of cases could top 10,000 by next week – more than double the current level – and asked citizens to play their part.”Heroism is also washing your hands and staying home,” Sanchez said in a televised address to the nation on Friday. The goal is to restrict passenger entry into the region from coronavirus-risk zones in the rest of Spain and Europe, but the proposed measure would not block important freight road traffic from Spain to France, a Catalan government spokesman added.Although advised not to, people would still be allowed to move within Catalonia – Spain’s second-wealthiest region of over 7 million – except in those towns already on lockdown, he added.In the first large-scale action of its kind in Spain, Catalan authorities on Thursday locked down four towns north of Barcelona, while on Friday they ordered the closure of gyms, nightclubs and shopping centers, apart from ones selling food.Madrid’s regional leader Isabel Diaz Ayuso said she did not have the power to put the capital on lockdown and that such a decision would have to come from the central government.Her government in Spain’s richest region said that starting at midnight (2300 GMT) and until at least March 26, bars, restaurants and shops, except for food shops, petrol stations and others selling essential items, would be closed to the public.Bars and restaurants would still be able to provide home delivery services or have food picked up at the premises.’Disaster’The decision was met with dismay and confusion by some workers in Madrid, home to half of Spain’s coronavirus cases, which was unusually quiet on Friday, with shops, streets and cafes largely deserted.”It is a disaster for employers and workers,” 39-year old Mustafa Elkeneski, a waiter in a cafe in the center of the city.”We don’t know how it will work out. The issue of pay is up in the air.”Authorities in Andalusia recommended the closure of “all leisure and commercial establishments”.The region of Murcia in the southeast announced a 14-day lockdown of seven coastal tourist towns in a move that local media said would affect some 376,000 people.The restrictions have also reached deep into Spanish culture. The country’s bishops’ association, the Spanish Episcopal Conference, issued guidelines on the spread of coronavirus in which it said “processions of this time have to be cancelled”, suggesting Spain’s famous Easter parades will not go ahead.Some Holy Week processions had already been cancelled by local church authorities. Due to start in early April this year, the events usually draw crowds of believers and tourists.Supply problems due to the outbreak prompted some Spanish plants of the Renault-Nissan alliance and Volkswagen’s Spanish division Seat to announce temporary stoppages on Friday that could last for days or weeks. Topics : Spain has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe after Italy. The current Spanish tally stands at 4,231, up about 1,000 cases from Thursday. About 120 people have died.Sanchez did not spell out what emergency powers he would use, or what help shut-down businesses would get. The order allows the government to confine people, ration supplies and requisition factories and buildings, apart from private homes.But, in a sign of brewing tensions between regions and his administration, some regional leaders called on the central government to provide more support.The regional government of Catalonia said it wanted and was ready to confine the whole region due to the epidemic and asked the central authorities to block its access by air, rail and water, regional leader Quim Torra said.