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I had a role in maintaining the medical centre when we were under extreme pressure from HQ to reduce costs, but I wasn't part of the team, led by Finbarr, which negotiated the "Future Development Plan" by which the Unions agreed to the redundancies and changes in work practices required by the plan. Although few retirees actually use the (separate) Catering or recreational facilities on site, their inclusion in the retirement "package" was crucial to winning the majority support of Union members. The costs, from a company point of view, were marginal, as the facilities were in place for active employees in any case.

Most redundancies were voluntary, with attractive lump sum and early retirement pension enhancements, but some jobs were unavoidably going, to the distress of those who might have been doing them for many years, and who didn't want to move on to another job.  Providing them with a means of remaining part of the "Brewery Community" was crucial to their acceptance of the plan, worth more than the redundancy money in some cases. For all its faults as a somewhat antiquated social construct, Guinness was famous for looking after its people well, especially if they got ill or were being made redundant.

Guinness also encouraged its workers to pursue further education or interests outside of work which made the later transition out of work easier.  Many Guinness employees played prominent roles in outside voluntary bodies and some shop floor manual workers qualified as barristers, etc. I was given time off in lieu of overtime to pursue a Masters in Peace Studies with half my fees paid, on the strength of a somewhat tenuous connection between the course and my work...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 27th, 2016 at 03:40:02 PM EST
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