Pitiful fines for corporate deaths
The majority of large companies convicted of health and safety offences involving a death are fined at a level which is less than one 700th of their annual turnover, new research shows.
If individuals earning an average annual income of £24,769 were sentenced at this level, they would be fined just £35.
The research also shows that the fines imposed on most of these companies were only 1 percent of their gross profits.
The research, undertaken by the Centre for Corporate Accountability, looked at the companies convicted for “death-related” health and safety offences since 1 January 2006 – and compared the fines imposed with the convicted companies’ turnover and gross profits.
For the report, go to » www.corporateaccountability.org
Driving examiners’ emergency stop
Industrial action disrupted the Driving Standards Agency over Easter weekend as civil service workers in the PCS union continued their pay battle.
Driving examiners struck for 2.5 hours on Thursday of last week and 1.5 hours on Tuesday of this week. All non-examiners and admin staff struck for the morning on Thursday of last week. There was an overtime ban in place over the weekend.
This follows a solid strike by 8,500 workers in the whole Department for Transport on 29 February.
The union has announced that there will be disruption in some part of the department each week while the dispute continues.
Wigan workers vote for action
More than 140 workers at leisure centres in Wigan have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.
The workers, members of the GMB union, voted by around 97 percent for action.
They were furious after receiving letters earlier this year informing them they would be dismissed on 5 May and reinstated the next day on new contracts. Some could lose up to £3,000 a year under the new deal.
Terry Mellor, a GMB senior organiser, said, “Members have expressed frustration and anger at what is being done. The finer details have yet to be worked out but it will be an indefinite course of action.”
Fight to defend pensions at Ineos
Some 1,000 workers in the Unite union at the Ineos refinary in Grangemouth, near Falkirk, are to ballot over attacks on their pensions.
Pat Rafferty, Unite’s regional industrial organiser, said management “wants to create a two-tier workforce with a pension scheme that is far inferior to the one currently in operation.
“We are moving to ballot our members for industrial action and make no apologies for it.”
Management say they must “modernise” to save costs.