Many firms have used the scare over the 'credit crunch' to target individual members of their workforce. They have particularly targeted 'awkward' workers whose face doesn't fit with management. If they can't or won't make them redundant they have drummed up spurious charges to dismiss them. Unsurprisingly ACAS who under new rules play a greater role in mediating Employment Tribunal cases are swamped with work as such cases spiral out of control.
Larger firms are using the 'credit crunch' to downsize even when they are still very profitable. Large multi-nationals showing no social responsibility are looking to remove workers en-masse. Fujitsu, the giant technology firm, is just one example. It will be making 10% of its British workforce redundant (1,200 workers). This is on top of a company wide pay freeze and a reduction in the number of contractors and temporary workers.
Yet Fujitsu made £200m profit last year and could even pay two directors £1.59m in compensation for loss of office. Clearly such manpower cuts would have been difficult to sell prior to the countries economic downturn but now they are slipping below the radar.
TARGET THE UNSCRUPULOUS
Firms clearly have to look at all their costs if sales fall. Solidarity suggests, however, that those firms who use the situation to make or lay the ground for even greater profits should be targetted by the Government. The Government must ensure they either refrain from such redundancies or suffer loss of Government contracts, taxbreaks and other sanctions.