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Predictive analytics in HR: case studies

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (2)


Predictive analytics in HR: case studies

Predictive analytics - are the game changer that enables HR to not only assess how employees work, but also to predict and optimize the impact of people policies on both the employees and the business. Here are some real life examples of predictive analytics in HR:


1) Google:

Google estimates the probability of people leaving the company by applying predictive analytics. One of Google’s findings is that new salespeople, who do not get a promotion within four years, are much more likely leave the company.


2) Best Buy:

Best Buy can accurately predict how employee engagement impacts the performance of their stores. A 0.1% increase in employee engagement results in an increase of over $100,000 in the store’s annual income. The enormous impact of engagement prompted Best Buy to make its engagement surveys quarterly instead of annually.

3) Hewlett-Packard:

By using predictive models, HP generated what they called a “Flight Risk” score. This score predicted the likelihood of leaving of each of HP’s 300,000+ employees. Their findings were groundbreaking. Based on the data they could see why employees would leave HP. Higher pay, promotions and better performance ratings where, for instance, negatively related to flight risk. However, there turned out to be intricate relationships between those findings. For instance, when someone received a promotion but did not get a substantial raise, this person would still be much more likely to quit.

Girding Thailand for a greying future

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (1)

Girding Thailand for a greying future


Under the shade of her tiny wood and corrugated metal hut in central Thailand, Ms Sala Phetnoy, 77, shuffles across the floor warily on her haunches.

Community volunteers drop in once in a while to coax the stroke patient to practise walking while holding onto the grab rails they installed outside her door, but there is a limit to how much they can help home-bound folks like her, under a healthcare system that focuses on patients who can visit hospitals and clinics.

Change could come soon, through a new long-term plan to care for the home-bound or bedridden elderly. The National Health Security Office (NHSO), which administers the country's universal healthcare scheme, has allocated an initial sum of 500 million baht (S$19.4 million) this fiscal year to fund home-based therapy and related care for 100,000 such patients.

Working with local administrative organisations and community healthcare volunteers, the NHSO plans to eventually expand the programme to cover all the estimated one million vulnerable elderly citizens in need of such help.

This is one of the Thai government's latest plans to cater to the greying population. By designing a system of localised care, the government hopes to control the future surge in healthcare expenditure.

Stroke patient Sala Phetnoy (above) gets some essential support in walking again from community healthcare volunteer Suwit Srasrisom in Pathum Thani province.

"When (the elderly) go to the hospital, it will cost more," Ms Orajit Bumrungskulswat, an NHSO senior director, tells The Straits Times. "A better way is for them to stay at home or in the community."

Still, experts say a lot remains to be done in one of Asia's fastest ageing economies. Data from the United Nations shows that the proportion of Thais aged 60 years and above is expected to jump from 15.8 per cent last year to 37.1 per cent in 2050.

Projections by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), the state planning agency, show that the labour force - which had 39.16 million people last December - will shrink by an average of 0.4 per cent annually from next year to 2021. That in turn could shave 0.15 percentage point off the country's economic growth potential every year.

Meanwhile, rising costs are making manufacturers eye cheaper destinations next door even when local workers are not sufficiently skilled to move on to higher-value industries. This is creating conditions for what economists call a "middle-income trap".


The International Monetary Fund, in a country report released in May last year, warned: "The challenge Thailand is facing is unusually severe.

"The pace of demographic transition is similar to that in Korea and Singapore, but those countries are experiencing it at much higher levels of income. Among emerging economies in the region, only China's transition is almost as rapid, but China is developing considerably faster than Thailand."

It surmised: "Under every conceivable scenario, Thailand will grow old before growing rich."

Unlike Singapore, which raised its reemployment age, encouraged immigration, redesigned jobs and upgraded workers' skills to try and head off the worst of a greying-induced slowdown, Thailand had been too embroiled in political turmoil to address the looming demographic change early. The most recent upheaval took place in 2014, which ushered in a military coup and the current junta rule buttressed by a military-dominated legislature. Policymakers admit they are now playing catch-up.

"This is just the start of the process," says the NESDB's secretary- general, Dr Porametee Vimolsri.

The government, for example, is considering raising the retirement age of its employees from 60 to 65, while encouraging the private sector to hire older workers.

According to a Reuters report, the state's pension bill is expected to rise from 61.37 billion baht last year to 71.23 billion baht in 2020. But academics say the system is riddled with inconsistencies and they have been calling for an overhaul for years.

Ms Aubon Suksa (above) sells packets of tissue under a pedestrian bridge in Bangkok to supplement her government stipend.

Although all elderly citizens not covered by pension plans get a government stipend, many feel the sum is too small. One of these recipients, Ms Aubon Suksa, 80, sells packets of tissue to passers-by from a canvas sheet under a pedestrian bridge in Bangkok's Siam Square shopping district. The elderly woman grimaces when asked if the 800 baht she gets a month is enough to live on.

"I use it only when I go to the hospital," she mutters. "Or I put it aside for my cremation."

Like Ms Aubon, some two-thirds of Thailand's working population make a living in the informal sector. They include farmers, motorcycle taxi drivers and casual labourers, who usually have little by way of savings unlike civil servants and private-sector employees, who are covered by pension plans or retirement savings schemes.

The government is trying to nudge this group to save more. Last August, it revived a long-frozen voluntary scheme called the National Savings Fund, where members' contributions are topped up by the state in varying proportions. Some 400,000 people signed up in the first six months - an encouraging sign that nevertheless indicates how daunting it is to provide financial security for the more than 20 million still outside the system.


A more immediate task is to review the tax system to generate income for elderly support, says Dr Jirawat Panpiemras, a research fellow at the Thailand Development Research Institute.

This would also entail tackling larger, structural issues. A greyer society needs to become more productive to stay ahead, but several conditions work against Thailand.

Agriculture, for example, employs about 40 per cent of the country's workforce, higher than less developed economies like Indonesia and the Philippines. Traditionally, the sector acts as a shock absorber in rough economic times, taking in those who cannot find work elsewhere. But that pool of underemployed labour, combined with previous administrations' generous farm support, has made Thailand's farm productivity lower than that of some of its less developed counterparts.

Meanwhile, the country is producing too many unqualified graduates, many of whom also crowd the social sciences courses to the detriment of science, engineering or other more technical fields that could power future growth. While Thailand has a low unemployment rate - 0.7 per cent in December - about half of those unemployed have a degree, says Dr Porametee. At the launch of a research incubator programme by seafood giant Thai Union Group last month, one of its executives complained that he found it difficult to find scientists to take part.

Then, there is the business of creating an elder-friendly physical environment. Ms Siriwan Aruntippaitune, an expert in the newly created Department of Older Persons, observes that the concept of universal design - which makes spaces accessible to people of all age groups and physical conditions - is still new to Thailand. Her department has worked with some local administrations to introduce elder-friendly facilities, but sometimes ends up with unsatisfactory results like ramps that are too steep to be used.


Yet there are also good models around.

The municipality of Bueng Yitho, which services 33,000 residents in the central province of Pathum Thani, runs a small-scale community health centre and physiotherapy clinic that save patients the more expensive visit to larger hospitals farther away. For elderly patients with mobility problems, the doctor keeps up to date on their condition through regular reports by community healthcare volunteers who make home visits. Treatment is free for those registered under the universal healthcare scheme.

Meanwhile, the municipality has three senior activity centres within the 15.4 sq km under its jurisdiction. Membership is capped at 300 baht a year for the elderly, including use of its swimming pool.

Elderly folk enjoying a pool version of chairball at a seniors activity centre in the Bueng Yitho sub-district of Pathum Thani province in Thailand.  ST PHOTOS: TAN HUI YEE

When The Straits Times visited one of the centres earlier this month, it found it staffed by enthusiastic elderly volunteers like Mr Lak Uttikritachai.

The 68-year-old man used to have to struggle with debt trying to support his family while selling snacks on the streets.

Today, his two daughters are grown up and supplement his 600-baht monthly government stipend with a 4,000-baht allowance.

Mr Lak, who learnt Mandarin when he was young, gives free Mandarin classes to his compatriots at the centre.

"My life is pretty good now," he says. "So I try to help others."

UAE salaries forecast to rise by 4.6% in 2017: report

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)


UAE salaries forecast to rise by 4.6% in 2017: report


Salary increases in other parts of the region would be higher compared to UAE


Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter


June 16, 2016

Dubai: It’s not all doom and gloom on the salary front. According to the latest research, workers in the UAE can expect some good news next year, with wages forecast to increase by an average of 4.6 per cent.

Compensation and reward experts said there is now an increased focus on rewarding workers that matter so much to an organisation’s success, especially since the talent market is increasingly becoming global and fast moving.

Besides, compensation remains the “top-most factor” that drives employee performance, according to Laurent Leclère, senior consultant and data services lead for the Middle East at Willis Towers Watson.

“Effective use of the company’s salary budget should be high on reward professionals’ agenda. Identifying key talent, for not only technical skilled roles but also for the skills necessary for succession planning, is essential to the long-term health of any company,” said Leclère.

Willis Towers Watson has just released findings of its "General Industry Compensation Survey" which includes actual and target amounts paid for all employee salaries, allowances and bonuses.

The report suggests that pay growth could be greater for certain skilled jobs with a smaller talent pool such as digital professionals.

The significant decline in oil prices had earlier cast a cloud of uncertainty over the employment market. Industry sources had said that salaries for many employees in the country would most likely remain unchanged in 2016, as companies work towards cutting costs to weather a “difficult” period. Overall hiring activity has reportedly slowed down, while job cuts have been observed in a number of sectors, including oil and gas and banking.

“We expect salaries to remain broadly flat during the coming year, with workers more concerned about remaining employed than pushing for substantial pay increases,” Trefor Murphy, managing director at Morgan McKinley UAE, said earlier this year.

Yasmeena, an expatriate who has been in Dubai for more than five years, said she does not expect any pay adjustments next year, especially since her company’s finances aren’t in great shape.

“The last salary increase I received was a long time ago, back in 2013. I don’t expect any change next year because there is no revenue in the company where I work and the economy is struggling nowadays,” she said.

Willis Towers Watson’s General Industry Compensation Survey Report noted that a 4.6 per cent salary increase is also expected in Bahrain, adding that Lebanon will most likely enjoy the highest growth at 5.4 per cent, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (5 per cent) and Qatar (4.8 per cent).

On a global level, employees in Asian countries are predicted to benefit from some of the highest pay rises. Forecast pay adjustments in Europe, Middle East and Africa, averaging at 1.9 per cent, come second, followed by Latin America (1.8 per cent) and North America (1.6 per cent).

The report was based on a survey conducted in February and March 2016, which drew 6,500 sets of responses from companies across 100 countries worldwide.

Former Director of Harry's Fined $40,000 for Falsely Declaring Salaries in Work Pass Applications

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)




Former Director of Harry's Fined $40,000 for Falsely Declaring Salaries in Work Pass Applications


20 June 2016

  1. In the State Courts today, the former Vice-President of Human Resources of Harry’s International Pte Ltd, Parmjit Kaur, pleaded guilty to charges1 of consenting to the offence of making false declaration of salary in work pass applications.
  2. The 49-year-old Singaporean was convicted in Court and sentenced to a fine of $40,000.

    About the Case
  3. Investigations revealed that between April and September 2013, Parmjit, in her capacity then as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and subsequently the Vice-President of Human Resources2, instructed her subordinate to declare the fixed monthly salaries of 20 foreign employees as $3,100, to meet the minimum salary requirement needed to obtain Employment Passes (EPs).
  4. However, she knew that the company only intended to pay the foreign employees a monthly salary that was below the minimum salary requirement of the EP. Based on the false information provided to the Controller of Work Passes, the 20 EP applications were approved and the EPs were issued to the foreign employees.
  5. The foreign employees were issued Letters of Offer for the position of Chef de Partie, stating that they would be paid a monthly salary of $3,100. However, they would have to reimburse the company $1,600 for meals and transportation, a day after receiving their salary in their bank accounts. In fact, the meals and transportation were provided only to some employees, and where provided, the actual cost was less than $1,600. The reimbursement practice continued for several months.

    MOM Takes a Serious View of False Salary Declaration Offences
  6. Commenting on the case, Mr Kandhavel Periyasamy, Director of Employment Inspectorate at MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division said, “Providing false declaration of S Pass and EP salaries is a serious offence. We will take stern action against persons or companies, including barring them from applying for new work passes and renewing their existing work passes.”
  7. Since 2014, a total of 39 employers have been convicted for false salary declaration offences.

    Employers Must Make Truthful Declarations
  8. All employers must make accurate, complete and truthful declarations to the Controller in their work pass applications.
  9. Making false declarations to the Controller is an offence. Upon conviction, employers can be fined up to $20,000 and/or jailed for up to two years under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA). They will also be barred from employing new foreign workers and renewing their existing foreign workers.
  10. Members of the public who know of persons or employers who contravene the EFMA should report the matter to MOM at Tel: (65) 6438 5122 or email [email protected]. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

How HR can use storytelling to create customer centricity

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

How HR can use storytelling to create customer centricity

Post its

20th Jun 2016

Everyone in business is talking about customer centricity, but very few are getting it right.

As part of the research for our recent report, Two Years’ Warning: The Customer Centricity Crisis, we spoke to HR professionals in the world’s most successful organisations and found that even these companies are not getting it perfectly right.

Of all the functions, HR is the most worried about how their organisation deals with customers: three quarters (76%) consider their company to be ‘customer complacent’ – compared to 50% overall. Nearly all (86%) believe more needs to be done to put customers at the heart of their organisation.

In fact, it’s business-critical that action is taken now to address this issue, with three-quarters (76%) of business leaders admitting that if they don’t focus on customers, their company won’t survive beyond the next two years.

What do HR professionals need to consider?  

At the moment, two-fifths (44%) of employees feel ‘powerless’ to solve recurring customer concerns because managers are unwilling to make changes.

Fewer than half (43%) are confident they wouldn't be reprimanded if they contradicted policy to make a decision in a customer’s interest. For HR, empowering employees is going to be key, as is hiring, training, retaining and rewarding the employees with the right motives and attitudes.

HR also holds responsibility for helping leaders ensure their teams know the strategic journey their company is on, leading the charge on clarifying focus to fit with the company’s customer needs.

As a job function firmly focused on understanding people, HR instinctively knows the importance of personal relationships, especially between leaders, their teams and their customers. Indeed, those who actively engage in and champion customer centricity, hold the power for creating competitive advantage.

With all this in mind and our focus on storytelling, we’ve developed our top three ways to use stories to help kick-start this change and put the customer first. 

1. Write and communicate the business narrative 

A clear and emotionally compelling business story can help employees visualise the journey the business is on, and the part they can each play in responding to their customers’ needs on that journey.

By positioning employees as the heroes of the narrative – effectively co-authoring the outcome through their actions and behaviours – leaders and their teams can work together with real intent towards a shared, higher purpose.

To do this, the business story must be defined collaboratively, articulated, written down, and shared across the business in a way that’s relevant and meaningful for each function and team. Leaders need to personalise the story and commit to championing and role-modelling the behaviours articulated within it.

This way, the narrative is explicit across the wider organisation, and allows every employee to take ownership of the personal contribution and changes he or she needs to make. 

2. Collect and share employees’ stories to demonstrate new behaviours 

Identifying and harvesting stories of interactions between employees and customers, and linking them directly back to the content of the narrative, can be a powerful tool in embedding customer centricity.

By illustrating the real consequences of their actions and behaviours, employees can visualise and appreciate the impact that the way they do business can have on the lives of their customers. Channelled in the right way, this can be a major driver for change. And with new stories emerging all the time, you can build momentum, maintain focus on the ‘new’ and keep the core messages alive.

Stories can have a profound effect on mindsets and behaviours. They can inject a sense of empathy and spark an emotional connection between employees and their customers, enabling people to see the benefits of positive change. Stories, and the implicit messages within them, can also encourage people to follow the example of others, so encourage valuable knowledge-sharing, new behaviours and the embedding of best practice. 

3. Identify belief-building stories that build momentum

By planning for, creating and celebrating belief-building stories, you can show how genuine change is taking place, and the effect this is having on a wider scale. One of the reasons that change fails is not because people don’t want to change, but they feel the business can’t change.

Belief-building stories act as proof points of change. Positive change brings benefits – not only to the individual, but to the wider organisation. By bringing employees on board, and recognising, celebrating and ritualising their success stories, people will start to believe in change, and that what they do for their customers really matters. 

Customer centricity is the responsibility of every department, and will be achieved not just through behaviours but process and systems too. And HR is ideally placed to be the champions of change. Complacency is the enemy of an aligned and customer-focused culture. HR: it’s time to be the change you want to see in your organisation. 

Contract employees in Asia mostly higher skilled, experienced

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Contract employees in Asia mostly higher skilled, experienced

Contracting professionals with specialised skills, higher education and more years of experience are increasingly the norm in Asia's workforce today.


Contracting professionals with specialised skills, higher education and more years of experience are increasingly the norm in Asia's workforce today.PHOTO: ST FILE



SINGAPORE - Contract employees are often associated with lower-skilled and junior workers but in fact a new survey has found that over half of professionals on contract have more than a decade of qualified experience.

The study by human resource firm Page Personnel found that contracting professionals with specialised skills, higher education and more years of experience are increasingly the norm in Asia's workforce today.

Reflecting similar trends in the global landscape, contract employees are also expected to work autonomously and be more flexible while on assignments, the survey found.

The study took in responses from 1,954 managers in companies deploying temporary staff and 4,092 professionals across 65 countries around the globe.

"Due to the changing economic landscape, Asia has seen an increased demand for professional and qualified contractors. Expectations of contract staff have also risen -they're expected to do more in less time, have better educational qualifications and be able to work independently," said Page Personnel Singapore associate director Mellissa Mayne.

The findings come just after the Ministry of Manpower, the labour movement and the Singapore National Employers Federation released a set of guidelines on Monday which clarified the benefits that contract staff are entitled to.

For example, the guidelines encourage employers to treat contracts renewed within a month as continuous, and grant leave benefits based on the cumulative term of contracts, for contracts of 14 days or more.

Traditionally, contracting was limited to professions considered labour-intensive and at the junior level. As a result of increased demands for project management or specialised interim hiring, contracting opportunities for qualified professionals have grown, Page Personnel said.

This has also resulted in 56 per cent of the current contract workforce qualified with 10 years or more experience.

This was seen particularly within financial services, finance and accounting, secretarial and office support as well as information technology.

Communication skills have become a major requirement from contract employees as 90 per cent of those surveyed are expected to engage with other internal business units.

Contract employees are granted more autonomy as 79 per cent of respondents reported having to work without close supervision.

South Korea mulls law to keep office out of the home

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

South Korea mulls law to keep office out of the home



[SEOUL] Hyper-wired South Korea is considering legislation that would ban bosses from bothering their staff at home, after growing complaints about the country's already onerous work-life imbalance.


A bill prohibiting managers from badgering staff at home was submitted to parliament on Wednesday, sponsored by 12 lawmakers from the main opposition Minjoo party.


"As more firms use social media or mobile messengers to send work orders, regardless of time, the stress inflicted on workers has reached a serious level," they said in a statement.


The bill seeks to ban firms from sending employees work-related messages by telephone, text, social media or via mobile messaging apps after official working hours.



The document specially references KakaoTalk, a chat app used by around 80 percent of the South Korean population.


The MPs' statement noted that too many workers were expected to be constantly on call, even when on holiday or late at night.


"More people are demanding rights to disconnect after work hours," it said, adding that the bill would allow workers a personal life free of workplace intrusion.


Similar legislation prohibiting e-mails after regular work hours has been proposed in countries such as France and Germany.


More than 80 per cent of South Koreans have smartphones - one of the highest penetration rates in the world.


Couple that with the country's notorious workaholic corporate culture, and you have a system ripe for abuse, the MPs say.


In 2014, the average South Korean worker clocked up 2,124 working hours - the second-highest total among OECD member nations after Mexico and far higher than the average of 1,770 hours.


In a recent report titled "Workers Who Are Scared of KakaoTalk," the Korea Labour and Society Institute said employees are forced to work about 11 extra hours a week on average using electronic gadgets.


"We have reached a point where working on weekends or after-hours - without pay - is increasingly becoming a norm," the report said.


"The use of smart devices for work blurs the boundaries between work and family life, which leads to a negative impact on work-family and work-life balance," it added.


South Korea prides itself on keeping pace with cutting edge technology, from ultra-fast broadband speeds to Samsung's high-end smartphones.


But its embrace of all things digital has come at a cost, as phones and tablets have morphed into mobile offices for employees that never close.


Some firms have taken unilateral steps to keep off-hours sacrosanct.


LG Uplus - the country's third-largest wireless operator - has threatened managers who send KakaoTalk messages to subordinates after 8:00 pm with demotion, or even dismissal.


"We wanted to help our staff enjoy their personal life in the evening, which will eventually foster their creativity," company spokesman Baek Yong-Dae said.


A gradual push-back against the gruelling work ethic that was deemed essential to South Korea's economic rise from the devastation of the Korean War has gathered pace in recent years.


Efforts to promote a life free from stress and information overload have included a series of "space-out competitions" where participants are required to "do nothing" for hours by not talking or using any electronic devices.




19-Year-old Gang Rape Victim to Receive 200 Lashes and 6 Months in Jail in Saudi Arabia

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

19-Year-old Gang Rape Victim to Receive 200 Lashes and 6 Months in Jail in Saudi Arabia


A Saudi Arabian woman must be accompanied by a male guardian — typically relative — at all times in public. The rape victim violated this law by meeting a friend to retrieve a picture.

A 19-year-old gang rape victim was sentenced to 200 lashes and to six months in jail for the crime of indecency and speaking to the press.

 By, The Clarion Project | h/t to Jennifer L. Kopp

Saudi Arabia defended a controversial verdict sentencing a 19-year-old gang rape victim to 200 lashes and six months in jail. The Shi’ite Muslim woman had initially been sentenced to 90 lashes after being convicted of violating Saudi Arabia’s rigid Islamic Sharia law on segregation of the sexes.

The decision handed down by the Saudi General Court more than doubled her sentence last week. The court also roughly doubled the prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping her, Saudi media said.

The upholding of a decision to punish the victim triggered international outcry.

Canada said it would complain to Saudi authorities about the sentence, described as “barbaric”’ by Jose Verger, the Canadian minister responsible for the status of women.

The New York based Human Rights Watch said the verdict “not only sends victims of sexual violence the message that they should not press charges, but in effect offers protection and impunity to the perpetrators.”

While not directly criticizing the Saudi Arabia’s judiciary, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, “I think when you look at the crime and the fact that now the victim is punished, I think that causes a fair degree of surprise and astonishment. It is within the power of the Saudi government to take a look at the verdict and change it.”

However, the Saudi judiciary stood by its decision. “The Ministry of Justice welcomes constructive criticism, away from emotions,” it said in a statement.

The statement also said that the “charges were proven” against the woman for having been in a car with a strange male, and repeated criticism of her lawyer for talking “defiantly” about the judicial system, saying “it has shown ignorance.”

The woman’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, reached out to the media. The court has since banned him from further defending the woman, confiscating his license and summoning him to a disciplinary hearing later this month.

The justice ministry implied the victim’s sentence was increased because she had spoken out to the press. “For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows to appeal without resorting to the media,” said the statement carried on the official Saudi Press Agency.

The rape took place in 2006. The victim said it occurred as she tried to retrieve her picture from a male high school student she used to know.

While in a car with the student, two men got into the vehicle and drove them to a secluded area. She said she was raped there by seven men, three of whom also attacked her friend.

The case was referred back to the General Court by an appeals court last summer, after the woman’s lawyer contested the initial verdict, saying it was too lenient for the rapists and unjust for the victim.


Chaos at Taipei airport after CAL flight attendants end 2-day strike

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Chaos at Taipei airport after CAL flight attendants end 2-day strike.

PublishedJun 26, 2016, 2:07 pm SGT

Huang Hui-chen (left), spokeswoman for the China Airlines flight attendant union, speaks to flight attendants, protesting outside the airlines' Taipei headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 24.



Huang Hui-chen (left), spokeswoman for the China Airlines flight attendant union, speaks to flight attendants, protesting outside the airlines' Taipei headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 24.PHOTO: EPA




TAIPEI - The first-ever strike by flight attendants in Taiwan has ended after two days of stoppage that saw almost 200 flights cancelled and about 30,000 passengers stranded, media reports said on Sunday (June 26).

China Airlines (CAL) will resume 80 to 90 per cent of flights scheduled for Sunday (June 26) before fully restoring regular flight service at midnight on Monday, the reports said.

CAL was forced to cancel 55 of 81 scheduled flights on Saturday, on top of 122 on Thursday and Friday, after the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union which represents 2,500 CAL flights attendants started the protest on Thursday, Central News Agency reported.

Hundreds of flight attendants staged a sit-in outside the firm’s office in Taipei, protesting a new requirement that they report for work in Taoyuan – on the outskirts of Taipei – rather than downtown Songshan airport, Agence France-Presse reported.

Some 30,000 passengers at the two airports and abroad were affected by the stoppage.

The protest came to an end late Friday after new CAL management agreed to all seven demands raised by the union, including increasing overseas flight subsidy from US$2 (S$2.70) per hour to US$5 and annual rest days from 118 to 123, CNA said.

“After a marathon negotiation of four and a half hours, we got a good deal,” Chao Kang, the head of the Taoyuan Flight Attendant Union said according to AFP.  The strikers, many in tears, chanted: “Victory for flight attendants”.  

But the Taoyuan airport was overrun with backlog on Saturday morning, China Post reported. Many passengers lashed out at flight attendants, accusing them of being selfish for demanding extra leave in the wake of the strike, while CAL ground staff members complained about bearing the brunt of the backlash from passengers.

In a meeting with representatives of the Travel Agent Association of the Republic of China, CAL chairman Ho Nuan-hsuan was quoted by China Post as saying that 80 to 90 per cent of flights on Sunday would take off as scheduled, before the company resumes normal operations on Monday.

The company suffered daily losses of some NT$280 million during the strike, he said, and would have to set aside an additional NT$200 million annually to meet the union's demands.

The travel agent association estimated at least 400 tourist groups were affected by the strike, and estimated losses to total nearly NT$50 million (S$2 million).

France labour dispute: Paris protests descend into violence

Posted by thehrdiary on June 15, 2016 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

France labour dispute: Paris protests descend into violence

14 June 2016

Protests in Paris over a French labour reform bill have turned violent, with at least 40 people injured, including 29 police officers, and 58 arrests.

At least 75,000 demonstrators had convened in the capital as the upper house of parliament debated changes to employment laws.

One of the city's best-known attractions, the Eiffel Tower, was closed due to strike action by staff.

The labour reform makes it easier for employers to hire and fire workers.

It would also relax the limit on working hours. The bill has been approved by the National Assembly (lower house) and is now going through the Senate.

Police said the clashes in Paris involved "several hundred masked people", who threw chunks of paving, set bins ablaze and smashed some shop windows. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon.

In the evening two "Autolib" electric cars were set ablaze, as were four other vehicles elsewhere in Paris, police said.

Students and several unions organised protests across the country, part of weeks of industrial action.

The CGT union said 1.3 million people demonstrated, but the police estimate was much lower - about 125,000.

Rail workers and taxi drivers are also on strike, disrupting transport.

The crowd marched from south-east Paris to the Invalides, a monument complex and magnet for tourists.

The unrest coincided with the Euro 2016 football championship - a major challenge for French police, marred already by violence among fans.

In a separate protest, Air France pilots went on strike to demand better working conditions.

An estimated 20% of all Air France flights were cancelled as a result, the company said.







French labour reform bill - key points:

1) The 35-hour week remains in place, but as an average. Firms can negotiate with local trade unions on more or fewer hours from week to week, up to a maximum of 46 hours

2) Firms are given greater freedom to reduce pay

3) The law eases conditions for laying off workers, which is strongly regulated in France. It is hoped companies will take on more people if they know they can shed jobs in case of a downturn

4) Employers to get more leeway to negotiate holidays and special leave, such as maternity or for getting married. These are currently also heavily regulated


 French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he could "no longer bear the attacks against the police".

 He called on protesters "to find within themselves a little humanity, tolerance and respect".

 Demonstrations against the reform bill began on 9 March and led to a massive demonstration on 31 March, when nearly 400,000 people came out in protest across France.