Friday, May 30, 2008
- Anheuser is heavily unionized and InBev has been very tough with European unions, facing strikes and protests in Belgium and Newfoundland. In fact in Newfoundland InBev hired a hard-nosed security company to keep the union under control. (Harkens back to the days of the railroads and the Pinkertons.)
- InBev is very harsh on non-performing employees, subjecting them to what as been described as isolated cases of moral harassment.
- InBev has what is called a "high octane" culture, meaning very "rah, rah". Low costs, high incentives. This does not match the much more traditional culture at A-B.
- InBev has a tendency to replace management with Brazlians.
A-B has responded coolly to the interest by InBev and naturally, the unions representing the workers are not happy with the idea at all.
It is well known that many mergers and aquisitions fail, not for financial reasons, but for people reasons. Does this one make financial sense? Absolutely, InBev has an operating margin of 27% while A-B's is 17%. But the people issues maybe difficult to overcome.
Another key to this may be the reaction of the American public. Messing with the clydesdales is downright UN-American. To me it would be like selling the White House. And with the political landscape poised to become the domain of union-friendly Democrats there might be some trouble in Congress and the White House with this one.
But if this occurs this will be one to watch. Will it succeed? Or will it become another Harvard Business School case study of one more M & A sunk do to people reasons?
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
- It prohibits discrimination in all areas of employment on the basis of genetic information of the employee or employee's close relatives. This includes hiring, firing, compensation, terms or priviledges of employment. An employer would also be prohibited from limiting, segregating, or classifying an employee in any fashion that would deprive the employee of any employment opportunities or adversely affect the status of the employee because of the employee’s genetic information (or the genetic information of the family member of the individual).
- A change unrelated to genetic information is the amendment to the Child Labor section of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). GINA provided for fines of up to $100,000 for any child labor violation that leads to the death or serious injury of any employee under the age of 18.
To me preventing the death or injury of any employee is of paramount importance, but especially if you have children working for you. If you needed anything else there is also this significant financial "incentive." So make your workplaces safe, have rules that are enforced and watch those kids. They think they are "bullet-proof" and may be inclined to short cut the rules.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
However, in this case these picketers were not "professional" picketers, nor are they carpenters, and if you read the article, this local does make a habit of picking up people off the street corners and "employing" them for the day. If you had read the click through article you would have seen that.
The point of the post was that if a union is trying to make a point, and carpenters were truly unemployed they would have been on the picket line themselves, handing out fliers, informing the public of their plight. No fliers were handed out at this picket line, I know I was down there and saw. The come and they picket for two hours and then are bused somewhere else or back to where they were picked up.
If I were a carpenter and were paying union dues I would be unhappy with how I was being represented and the fact that my dues were going to paying non-union, non-member, hired picketers. I think the local does a disservice to their members by representing in them in that manner and that was my point.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Pretty low-life way of conducting a labor dispute. How do hardworking carpenters feel about being represented in that manner? I would not be too happy if I were one.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Further down the street at an actual construction site is another protest. Two guys standing by a banner that says "Labor Protest. Shame on So and So". No union identification, no company identification, just a person's name. And the material they used, the banner, the PVC holder and even the wording is identical to another I saw about 20 miles away. BUT, that sign had a different person's name on it. I don't get what they are protesting, who they are protesting against or what they want.
So are either of these protests being successful? I don't see how. There is not enough information to raise the general public's interest or knowledge. If I were sympathetic how would I know who to pressure or influence? Instead they are a nosy nuisance. Their appearance does not say much for them. I certainly would not want any of them working on my place. So I don't understand what these operations are trying to gain. And I think it is pretty underhanded to have stand-ins.
Just a thought.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The unions are the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), (the AFL-CIO breakaway) and Unite Here. The employers are Sodexho, Inc. and Compass Group USA. The agreements go beyond neutrality agreements (organizing attempts that the employers do not dispute) and there is a selection process between the company and the union on which locations can organize and which cannot. Thus, the unions and the employers decide who has the right to belong to the union and not the employees themselves. These agreements have been criticized and the question has been asked what the trade-off is. Well the trade-off is that the unions get to increase their membership without dispute and the companies get the unions to agree to not strike. Sounds good? Maybe for the unions, maybe for the employer, but not for the employee! The employees do not get to decide if they want to organize, they do not get to have a say by secret ballot, and if they are organized they cannot strike if they so desire.
Makes you wonder whose side the union is on doesn't it? Well I have always said that a union today is just a business and they make their money off of dues. If they can increase their membership and hence their revenue by making secret deals they will do so even if it does not benefit the employees. The businesses who are entering into these agreements are probably trying to limit their damages, thinking they would probably have been organized at sometime anyway (which means they probably deserve a union). So they get to pick who gets oranized and who doesn't. But they are not thinking in the best interests of their employees either.
So the unions gain, the companies gain and the employees lose. What a great system.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Kris Dunn of The HR Capitalist has started another blog on recruiting called Fistful of Talent. It is a multi-author blog that will feature many different takes on recruiting. Today's is about the appearance of applicants today. Oh, The HR Capitalist (see link above) is about whether HR can be trusted or not. So check it out.
Jim Stroud, of the Recruiters Lounge has a FREE BOOK entitled Resume Forensics that you can download for FREE. It talks about resources and tips for finding resumes and candidates using search engines. Valuable stuff.
Ann Bares, of Compensation Force has a post today about The Quiet Pink Pay Revolution, women gaining on men in the workforce. Very interesting.
Penelope Trunk, The Brazen Careerist, talks about what knowing what you should be doing by what you did as a kid. A thought provoker.
Tomorrow I will blog about the SECRET union conspiracies under way with some companies, so stay tuned.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Enthusiasm! Do you hire for it? You should, at least according to Alan Weiss, of Summit Consulting. In his most recent newsletter he relates the story of an exceptional waiter named Mike, who as Alan says "...generally led us through dinner the way Toscanini led the orchestra through Beethoven's Fifth." In Alan's opinion "You can't teach what Mike has, which is sheer zeal and talent for the job." This experience, and others like it, have lead Alan to offer the following advice to his many clients "... hire enthusiasm and teach the content of their business, not to hire content experts who aren't naturally enthusiastic, thinking either they can be taught enthusiasm or the content expertise will suffice."
Alan's experience mirrors my own. Interactions with employees are enthusiastic about their jobs makes the experience all that much more pleasant, regardless of the business. I have met and interacted with employees who are enthusiastic about serving burgers, changing tires, helping me figure out a mobile phone problem, sell me furniture, help me select the lighting fixtures for my new house, and launder my shirts. It is a key attribute. Now I might like to hire a combination of enthusiasm and content expertise, but I would be inclined to take enthusiasm first.
I think enthusiasm comes from someone viewing their job as important and relevant. I used to have an employee in my plant who cleaned the floors and mowed the grass. He was always whistling and working hard. I asked him why one day and he told me he had the most important job in the company. I asked how he figured that and he told me "No one could work if the place was not clean and the neighbors would be unhappy if he did not mow." Is this what we are discussing when we talk about employee engagement. Perhaps so...
Alan concludes with this.."Enthusiasm is infectious. Are you the kind of person whom others want to be around because you generate excitement and interest, no matter what your job or your calling? After working with you, would I want to work with you again, let alone give the equivalent of a $300 tip?" I will echo that. Are you? Do you hire people that generate excitment? If not, why not.
BTW, if you want a great monthly read from a great writer, speaker and consultant then subscribe (for free) to Alan's monthly newsletter The Balancing Act, which shows up in your mailbox on the first of every month without fail.