P&O chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite has been named the world’s worst boss in a global poll after illegally firing almost 800 UK workers in a pre-recorded Zoom call.
His award was announced at the World Congress of the global union confederation ITUC in Melbourne, last week. Stephen Cotton, general secretary of the global transport union federation ITF, said: ‘First, Hebblethwaite became Britain’s most hated boss when he illegally sacked 786 seafarers… His disgrace has reached international heights now that he has been voted the Worst Boss in the World.’ He said transport bosses had ‘been put on notice – if you fail to uphold workers’ rights and provide workers with decent jobs, safe working conditions, respect and dignity, the global union movement will be there to hold you to account. We will do this through national and international laws, using the power of worker representatives on pension funds to uphold human and labour rights principles and by organising transport workers to demand change.
ASIA: WORK SAFETY AS A STRATEGIC ORGANISING TOOL
Unions in South East Asia are looking to use OHS strategically to organise workers and build strong unions. ‘IndustriALL adopts a rights-based approach on OHS. Every worker has the right to know, participate and refuse, and that cannot be bargained with,’ said Glen Mpufane, OHS director for IndustriALL, the global union that organised the meeting of its affiliates across the region. ‘When employers deny trade unions entry in the area of OHS, it is the duty of unions to regain control to save workers’ lives.’ In total, 65 unionists from Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, and Philippines attended the October meeting and agreed to set up a regional cross sector occupational health and safety platform.
US: WALMART SUPERVISOR SHOOTS HIMSELF & 6 CO-WORKERS
A Walmart supervisor armed with a handgun and several magazines of ammunition opened fire on fellow employees in a Virginia store, killing six people before turning the gun on himself in a break room, witnesses and police said on Wednesday. The country's latest mass shooting on Tuesday night shook the town of Chesapeake, and comes on the heels of last weekend's massacre in Colorado, where a gunman killed five at an LBGTQ nightclub. The Virginia gunman, identified as Andre Bing, 31, of Chesapeake, said nothing as he began firing on workers gathered before their overnight shift, according to two employees who were in the break room. The rampage ended when Bing shot himself.
UK: WORKPLACE STRESS SOARS TO A NEW RECORD HIGH
A record number of stress, depression and anxiety cases now makes up around half of the total work-related ill-health in Great Britain, new official figures show. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics on work-related ill health and workplace injuries reveal there were an estimated 914,000 cases of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2021/22. This is over 10 per cent up on the previous all-time high of 828,000 cases in 2019/20. The last three years have seen far and away the highest levels on record of reported stress-related ill-health at work. HSE’s chief executive, Sarah Albon, said: ‘Britain is one of the safest places in the world to work but we need all employers to do more and take seriously their responsibilities to support good mental health at work.’
NHS ENGLAND WORKFORCE TO GET MENOPAUSE RIGHTS
Menopausal women working in NHS England will be able to work flexibly should they need to under new guidance. Launching the first national NHS guidance on menopause, the NHS England chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, called on other employers to follow suit to help ‘break the stigma’. Writing in the Telegraph, Pritchard said she wanted to make sure that anyone working in the NHS should have access to the right support ‘to stay and thrive at work’ during the menopause. The guidance aims to boost awareness as well as support the introduction of practical measures and flexible working patterns – including lighter duties, fans to make temperatures more comfortable, cooler uniforms and staff training. ‘Our guidance has been intentionally designed to be transferable to other workplaces too, so I hope organisations and women beyond the NHS can also benefit,’ Pritchard said.
Supporting our NHS people through menopause: guidance for line managers and colleagues, NHS England, 22 November 2022. The Telegraph. The Guardian.