Korean company enlists union to train workers

Korean high-tech company LG Electronics is using engineering union AEEU to provide training to managers and staff as part of a new partnership deal. The union will provide courses on modern working practices aimed at improving productivity at the company’s new plant in Newport, south Wales. An AEEU official is acting as training consultant to […]

Korean high-tech company LG Electronics is using engineering union AEEU to provide training to managers and staff as part of a new partnership deal.

The union will provide courses on modern working practices aimed at improving productivity at the company’s new plant in Newport, south Wales.

An AEEU official is acting as training consultant to the company and also assists with training needs analysis.

LG signed a partnership deal with the AEEU in June after a so-called `beauty contest’ involving several of the other unions which act for its workers. Under the deal, the union will be consulted on strategic issues such as business planning and recruitment, in return for agreeing to limit industrial action.

LG general manager and head of personnel Leighton Davies said: `The union has shown us its training facilities and conducted some needs analysis in collaboration with our own training team. They are also giving us support by putting us in contact with other British companies involved in best practice initiatives.’

LG’s factory in Newport is one of the UK’s biggest inward investment projects and will employ 6,000 staff by the end of next year.

The AEEU is recruiting members at the Newport plant. It will offer training to its members first before offering it to other staff.

`We are helping the management develop systems which will enable them to train up semi-skilled staff. The aim is to build a core of skilled employees who will be able to operate a range of machinery,’ said John Lloyd, AEEU national education and development officer.

He added that the union expects to announce a series of new partnership deals at the beginning of October.

The AEEU has attracted fierce criticism from other unions, particularly the Transport & General Workers, for its partnership deal arrangements.

John Robinson writes for Personnel Today magazine