International newsOn 17 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article This week’s international newsUS firms see decrease in workplace injuries US companies are reporting a steady decline in the number of workplaceaccidents and injuries that cost them time and money. A report by The Conference Board, the country’s executive association, showsthat from 1999 to 2002, the number of lost-time cases per 100 full-timeemployees in surveyed firms declined by an average of more than 40 per cent.The survey also found that recorded incidents have declined an average of morethan 23 per cent. These trends are generally consistent with statisticsreported to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The study said improved management practices alone couldn’t take all thecredit, claiming a company’s workforce must be engaged and involved in healthand safety management systems. Survey participants cited several elements of successful health and safetystrategies: good leadership at the top and confidence among all employees inthe creations and implementation of tailor-made policies that work, along withconstant health and safety monitoring. www.conference-board.org/publications/describe.cfm?id=724German manufacturers bow to staff pressure Germany’s largest manufacturing union, IG Metall, and employers have agreedon a pay deal, averting the threat of a major industrial strike. Last week almost 20,000 German manufacturing workers staged warning strikesin an attempt to keep pressure on employers during wage talks. But on Thursdaythe union signed the deal which includes a 2.2 per cent pay rise for the yearstarting 1 March and another 2.7 percent over 14 months starting in March 2005for workers in the auto, electrical and engineering industries. Employers hadoffered a 1.2 per cent rise over 15 months starting on 1 January 2005, to befollowed by another 1.2 percent rise over the following 12 months. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said the deal was good for both sides and wouldhelp keep the economic recovery on track. Californian supermarket strikes continue Southern California’s long-running grocery strike continues, now runninginto its fourth month. About 70,000 grocery clerks have been on strike or locked out by supermarketchains Albertsons, Kroger and Safeway since 11 October 2003. The workers claimnew health and benefit offers from their employers are inadequate. Now, afederal mediator has been trying to ease negotiations. The financial strain caused by the length of the strike has forced manyemployees off the picket lines or to other jobs. The supermarkets have lostmillions of dollars, operating stores with replacement workers. The strikers are also targeting supermarket executives – recently disruptinga golf tournament by shouting slogans at two supermarket board members who wereabout to tee off. In other protests, union supporters shut down a Safeway in Santa Cruz for anhour-and-a-half by dancing in a conga line through the store. Malaysian workers decide on public holidays The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) has been told to ask its memberswhether they want fewer public holidays. Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said theGovernment would be happy if workers wanted to work harder. “If workers don’t like holidays, just tell us. If they want to workharder, good – then we can reduce the number of public holidays,” he tolda press conference. According to local newspaper The Star, the MTUC said declaring too manypublic holidays could be detrimental to workers’ productivity and could affectthe country’s economy. Abdullah said there had been many holidays in recent weeks because somefestivals coincided with each other. “The economy has never been affectedbecause of the holidays,” he added. Comments are closed.