News Briefs

Union negotiates child swap; Ontario increases WCB benefits; Voluntary layoffs can backfire; China helps recent grads find jobs;U.S. manufacturing takes a hit
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/21/2009

Union negotiates child swap

Tilbury, Ont. — Parents working opposite shifts at auto parts manufacturer Autoliv Canada now have a way to avoid child-care headaches. The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union negotiated a deal with the employer to allow a parent to punch out five minutes early to meet her partner in the parking lot so their children are never left alone. “This negates child-care problems because the children are in the car with the parent who is coming to work,” said Paula Carson, CAW plant chairperson at Autoliv.

Ontario increases WCB benefits

Toronto — Ontario is helping workers who have been injured on the job by increasing Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) benefits by two-and-a-half per cent this month. This increase is in addition to similar increases in July 2007 and January 2008. The increases apply to workers who are permanently, partially disabled. Before 2007, benefits increased by less than three per cent over the previous 12 years. As of this month, the province will have increased benefits by seven-and-a-half per cent over a period of 18 months.

Voluntary layoffs can backfire

Guelph, Ont. — Organizations that offer voluntary layoffs are just as likely to lose the best employees as they are to lose poor performers, according to a new study out of the University of Guelph. Researchers studied three companies and 978 employees and found organizations have only about a 50-per-cent chance of ridding themselves of employees they don’t want when they entice employees to quit. “Star” employees, who are highly educated and better-performing, are more likely to leave in a voluntary situation because they tend to be more confident they can find other work, according to the study. This can leave an organization with a much weaker workforce after the layoffs.

China helps recent grads find jobs

Beijing — China has announced measures to help more than five million recent college graduates find work, including offering subsidies to those who work in rural areas. Urban jobseekers already outnumber vacant positions by two to one, according to Chinese officials, and the situation is only expected to worsen. Other measures include giving graduates who join the military or take jobs in remote areas financial assistance to repay student loans and offering incentives to companies that hire recent graduates.

U.S. manufacturing takes a hit

Tempe, Ariz. — Manufacturing activity in the United States hit its lowest level in 28 years as new orders and employment continued to decline in December. The manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, fell to 32.4 in December from 36.2 in November. An index reading above 50 signals growth, while below 50 signals contraction. The sector lost 85,000 jobs between October and November, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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