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Regular Feature: Issue 356 20 Feb 2009

Employees, safety and customers

What do CSR reports tell us about how the passenger transport groups manage their large workforces?

George Muir

The “Our People” section of the CSR reports could have been the dullest of all: vocational training, driver retention, ethnic diversity – yawn, yawn - but it isn’t. You have to read between the lines. If you do, you will see how five groups in their different ways are struggling to create added value from the one distinguishing thing they do: manage people. Their business is to organise large numbers of people, in small groups or alone, doing fairly simple things...

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20 Feb 2009

"FirstGroup denied the accusation saying the protest was just a union recruitment drive, which it probably was."

You obviously understand little about CSR and are just scratching the surface of this research. The UK and USA unions legitimately raised the issue of improving employment standards in the FirstGroup business in order to create long term shareholder value and ensure the profitability of the company - a process that was warmly welcomed by the large institutional investors. You also fail to report that at FirstGroup's 2006 AGM, the company's own monitor admitted that he had found evidence of anti-union behaviour in the USA.