Employer wants your facebook password

18 06 2009

Lets hope the staggeringly bad idea from over the pond does not make it over here (though Mr Justice Eady might beg to differ)

Bozeman City A a small town in Montana has created something of a fire storm when it was exposed as requiring applicants for jobs to hand over their passwords to various websites.

The City’s background Cheek requirement state:

“Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.,” the City form states.

Apparently here are then three lines where applicants can list the Web sites, their user names and log-in information and their passwords.

Given the propensity for dodgy employment practices to make there way from the USA lets hope in this instance this is one bad idea that doesn’t cross the Atlantic.


PS Ill leave commenting on the stupid Judgment in the Night Jack Case till i have calmed down what was the Times thinking!

PPS the Times Chapel might want to start checking the NUJ’s rule book and re reading the bit about bringing the Profession /Union into Disrepute.

PPPS wonder if we will see an Emergency motion at next weeks Conference.


DOJ Investigating SV over collusion to hold down wages.

4 06 2009

An interesting story reported in the Gawker (the home of the remnants of Vallywag the SV Snark Blog ) the some of the big names of tech are being investigated for colluding by not poaching staff from each other.

The original stories where by the Washington Post and the NYT 

The NYT says

A December 2007 e-mail message written by a Google recruiter and obtained by The New York Times suggests that the company might have had an agreement with Apple on recruiting.

Laura Sheppard, a contract recruiter at Google, sent the e-mail message to a job candidate asking him to put her in touch with another potential candidate. “It is a bit touchy since he works for Apple,” Ms. Sheppard wrote, adding that Google had “a nonsolicit agreement with them.”

Google declined to comment on its hiring practices or on the e-mail message, whose authenticity could not be independently verified.

As Gawker says its interesting that People make a big play of being all about the free market – but when it comes to us grunts on the ground “Not so much”

New Blog From Connect Research

2 06 2009

Connected Research is the name for a new blog for Connect’s research department. A blog seeks to provide information and comment on a range of issues of specific interest and Connected Research is no different: the blog will act as a regularly maintained resource for the union on a wide range of issues, including pay and conditions, pensions, telecoms regulation and policy, and social and economic trends. The aim is not to duplicate existing Connect communications but to look at, and link to, the wider press on these themes. More than that, however, a blog also seeks to act as a forum for online comment and debate between its readers.

Congratulations on Calvin on joining the Blogsphere  I did get a few odd looks a couple of years back at conference when we coved the conference sort of live.

You can find Connected Research at: http://connectedresearch.wordpress.com.

Nortel Does a Visteon and Fraks over Its Employees

15 04 2009

Nortel has made has taken a leaf out of Visteon and made 220 Nortel employees, including a considerable number of Connect members, redundant at the end of March with no notice, no company redundancy pay and no prior consultation.

The people affected were summoned to meetings at Maidenhead and Harlow on 27 March to be told that their employment would cease on at the end of that month and that they would have to apply for statutory redundancy pay from the state National Insurance Fund.

Although Nortel went into partial administration in January of this year it is still trading. Employees had been told that the objective of administration was to secure the future of the company and that the message to Nortel customers was ‘business as usual’. They had also been assured that if redundancies were unavoidable there would be full consultation with employees and their representatives in line with the company’s obligations under UK employment law. In fact, there was no consultation at all, and dismissal came completely out of the blue for those made redundant in March. Nortel people not directly affected first heard about the redundancies either from their sacked colleagues or through press reports and the blogosphere.

Connect is supporting Nortel members made redundant in seeking what legal redress is available for Nortel’s failure to consult on the question of redundancy. The union is also advising members still working in Nortel on how they can stand up for their right to be treated with dignity and in line with the law, and has written to Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, to highlight the injustice and bad practice of Nortel’s actions. The current difficult economic conditions are no excuse for companies treating employees badly and evading their legal responsibilities.

In other news (and why does this not surprise me) In March, Nortel went to court for the right to pay eight senior executives share in a $45m bonus pool Lets hope Canadas Peremier has the balls to sack the CEO as Obama did to GM.

Fair Play on Redundancy Pay Video

14 03 2009

Since Redundancy pay was introduced in 1965 its value has decline drastically in real terms Due to real term increases in wage levels and inflation, the current value of SRP is just 56% of the UK’s average weekly wage.

The Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle is currently attempting to secure legislative change in the House of Commons via his Private Members Bill, which calls for the calculation mechanism to be reviewed.

On Friday the bill had its first reading an survived this round with enough MPs turning up for the debate to make sure the bill did not get talked out.

Unions Together have done a short campaign video

BT pay freeze sparks union anger

11 03 2009

The news about BT’s pay freeze will not surprise many as BT has a long history of playing fast and lose with pay schemes – the unnamed  the company says:

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We have carefully considered the current economic conditions, the pressures the business faces, the UK’s Retail Price Index (RPI), and concluded that it is the right thing to do.”

They even have the cynical cheek to say that BT “BT has awarded pay increases in line, or above, the Retail Price Index (RPI)”

Sorry was that in some alternate time line? As the PRP Pay scheme has not given a COLA pay rise for the vast majority of the Professionals who work for BT in decades! and that’s not to mention the “secret” meetings where peoples performance markings where fiddled.

This is a cynical exercise by a company that is blaming the down turn to Frack over its long suffering staff. Will they be clawing back the bonuses of those senior board members who sold off the Companies property assets or who decided on the fiasco that was concert.

Its ironic that BT was always “Frit” of pissing off all of its staff at the same time managing to seriously piss off the CWU and Management Grades at the same time has some interesting consequences Conference will be interesting this year.

One does wonder if XXX has had a hand in this new policy.

Disgruntled Peppone


if this was the afore mentioned alternate time line Rasd-Codurersa Diziet Embless Sma da’ Marenhide will be offering me a Job shortly 🙂

European Commission Ruling on BT Pensions

12 02 2009

The European Commission has ruled that the Crown Guarantee underpinning BT pensions is, to a very limited extent, contrary to European competition rules. This finding is very limited – it finds only that this gives BT a slight commercial advantage over its competitors as the Crown Guarantee limits BT’s obligation to pay a full levy to the UK Pension Protection Fund. BT will now have to pay PPF Levy payments in full. 

The Commission has also confirmed that since the Crown Guarantee itself brings no other advantage to BT and the guarantee benefits BT employees rather than the company itself, that the guarantee is not in breach of EC competition rules. The Crown Guarantee will therefore continue. 

This story is being reported in today’s press, and Connect will update you of any developments.

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