News in brief

Cost of bad decisions

Poor decision-making costs UK manufacturers over £300m a year. According to a survey for business planning systems company SCQuARE, six out of 10 directors and senior managers quizzed said that time wasted in redrafting proposals, implementing poorly thought-out plans and solving problems from poor decisions hit their revenue and profitability, lost customers and demoralised staff.

Sweetheart worries

Workers face more threats from unions negotiating `sweetheart deals’ with employers than they do from hard-line bosses, Bill Morris, the transport union leader said this week. And he attacked other unions for doing what employers wanted under the guise of so-called `partnership deals’.

Testing a new ERA

Technology consultancy ERA Technology is to sell its electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility testing business to Intertek Testing Services of Cranleigh. The company will be based at the ERA site in Leatherhead.

Gears shift

Alstom, the Anglo-French engineering group, has sold its gears subsidiary to David Brown, the UK gear and gearbox manufacturing subsidiary of US-based Textron.

GEC telecoms deal

GEC is to buy Israeli wireless networking company RDC Communications for $39m (£25m). The deal underlies GEC’s aim to become a world telecoms products supplier and follows its recent acquisition of Reltec in the US.

Apprenticeship boost

The graduate apprenticeship scheme is to get a £5m Government boost to provide free tuition for employees in small and medium-sized companies. The funding will run for two years, starting in September 2000.

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