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Author: Subject: SEPA strong arm tactics
Underwater Plumber


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[*] Post 323723 posted on 4-3-2008 at 18:10 Reply With Quote
SEPA strong arm tactics

clicky. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency has issued dismissal notices to hundreds of staff who have not accepted new terms and conditions of service.

Something similar happened to our LA staff who did clerical duties etc.

What do you think about employers who change conditions of service?
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[*] Post 323732 posted on 4-3-2008 at 18:56 Reply With Quote

Legally, a contract can only be changed by mutual agreement. Unfortunately, employers often get away with one sided changes by arguing that the changes are necessary. If an employer imposes a change against you will, your only recourse is to leave the job and either sue for constructive dismissal or breach of contract. That last option is relatively new to Employment tribunals and does have a number of pitfuls.

Constructive dismissal cases are notoriously hard to win for the reasons given above.

As you'd imagine, I am not in favour. Change, if it is necessary , should be by negotiation and agreement. But that's what unions are for.

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[*] Post 323740 posted on 4-3-2008 at 19:15 Reply With Quote

In the US, each contract is legally in force for a set amount of time, and both sides normally must follow it for that span of time. Are the terms of service open-ended in Scotland?

Decades ago, when unions were powerful in the US, it was common for unions to push as hard as they could. Union leaders sometimes encouraged their members to disbelieve management when management would say, "We can't afford to pay more than X." In some cases, competition, rising costs, or even errors in management have meant that the businesses have lost money, or gone bankrupt, or ceased operations. I have thought it sad when unions have been given the opportunity to keep working at a lesser wage, or with lesser benefits, and rejected the contract. Then, either the business is sold, and the new owner comes in with his own people and hires some of the old ones at less money (they get to start over!:(), or the business is closed and the equipment sold off--nobody works.

The SEPA article says that everyone would be kept on, if they agree, and no one will have their pay cut (but they won't get the raises they would have expected under the former conditions). While a great disappointment, that sounds reasonable to me.

Ideally, I think the cure for such problems would be for employees to own their company, as much as possible. If 1000 employees each own 1/1000 of the company, there is no motive for management to loot the workers for the sake of the stockholders (the workers ARE the stockholders), and there is no motive for the workers to loot the company (they ARE the company).:D

I know of some employee-owned businesses (a grocery chain comes to mind), and it works pretty well. But, I don't know how to implement that in companies that require a lot of capital investment.
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