News digest 14 September 2012

Unite news digest

14 September 2012

Most of the papers delve into the details of the proposed defence merger between BAE and EADS announced earlier this week. After the initial market euphoria the cold light of day has hit as the ramifications of the proposals are analysed. The fact that BAE would be the junior partner could bode badly for job prospects amid fears of further consolidation in the defence sector. This allied with US fears over purchasing from ‘European’ defence companies could limit the supposed possible benefits of scale. Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said he was appalled at the lack of consultation with the workforce and commenting on the BAEs statement that the deal would be positive for jobs, said: “We have heard that one before, I have dealt with mergers going back many years and based on those experiences we need to take that with a pinch of salt.”  

And less than positive for jobs a number of the papers report on business secretary Vince Cable’s plans to curtail workplace rights, which are neither liberal or democratic. While he has dismissed the fire at will proposals put forward in the Beecroft report he has opened the door to greater insecurity by outlining plans to streamline employment tribunals and cut the compensation limit on payouts and also cut the consultation period. In its simplest terms it will let the worst employers off lightly and offer no benefit to good employers.

One employee who got a £400,000 golden goodbye from Kent county council – former chief executive Katherine Kerswell – has now turned up earning £140,000 a year at the cabinet office where she is responsible for ‘civil service reform’ or jobs cuts to the rest of us.

And as workplace rights get eroded the call for a general strike rises. Keith Ewing and John Hendy look at the legality of a possible general strike in the Morning Star while Laurie Penny in the Indie says there is a moral case for strike action.

Also attempting to strike, but in a different way, are 14 Tory MPs that have written to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee calling for a leadership election. Before that happens they’ll need to find another 29 MPs to hit the minimum required to force a challenge, but prime minister Cameron is looking more shaky. Deputy prime minister Clegg is also under pressure with former Liberal leader saying the coalition is undermined by flirting with Labour. However the more interesting Lib Dem story of the day is a poll in the Guardian which says that the Lib Dems have made no difference to coalition polices, tell us something new…

Morning Star

 Daily Mirror

  • Tory plot to oust PM (p2)
  • Hunt goes on holiday (p2) – Rachael Maskell quoted
  • May plan to scale down terror rules (p20
  • Hillsborough: Fight for justice (p4-9)
  • More troops home in 2013 (p15)




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Hillsborough cover-up: Police to face reckoning (p1)
  • Minister’s plans to cut costs horrify child minders (p30
  • Fire at will rejected but new rules make it easier to dismiss staff (p20)
  • Speaker hold on to pension, but only from age 65 (p20)
  • BAE: Europe’s big guns to win shoot out (p45/50-51)
  • Nestle departs Croydon (p54)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Bernake takes plunge with QE3 (p1)
  • BAE warns EADS on political influence (p1)
  • Cable to signal lower unfair dismissal cap (p2)
  • BA to maintain pressure on border agency over queues (p2)
  • Chancellor vows to back City in EU talks (p3)
  • Osborne to reject plans for green tax subsidy (p4)
  • Heathrow: Back in line (p9)
  • How to put the liberal back into the Liberal Democrats (p11)
  • Rollouts lifts iPhone 5 forecasts (p15)
  • How EADS-BAE seized the moment (p16-17)
  • Reaction muted to merger – Unite convenor Bob Holmes quoted (p17)
  • Retailers raise doubts over outlook (p20)
  • Argos boost Home Retail (p20)
  • Head of HSBC to step down (p21)