Last week, the Fall 2017 CUE Conference featured a panel of experts who discussed some of the labor and employee relations issues that can arise during a merger/acquisition. Among the issues the panel told attendees they needed to watch out for included: 1) reductions in force; 2) the possibility of culture clash; 3) issues over wages, benefits, and policies; 4) union organizing arising due to uncertainty; and 5) communication issues. This week, POLITICO PRO shares a story about how the Communications Workers of America has preemptively staked out opposition to a possible merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, the third and fourth largest mobile carriers in the U.S.
These carriers have not formally announced plans to merge, but the possibility is subject to intense speculation.
Such a merger would kill 20,000 jobs, the union said in a news release today, citing that number to a 2016 analysis from analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson LLC. [Emphasis added]
“Allowing Sprint and T-Mobile to merge guarantees the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. jobs that would result from store closures and the consolidation of administrative work. Corporations and Wall Street applaud this ‘synergy,’ but employees and their families would bear all the costs of this merger,” CWA President Chris Shelton said in the statement. “The massive job loss that this merger would cause is not in the public interest. The Sprint-T-Mobile merger would enrich a few corporate owners and investors at the expense of workers and consumers.”
The union “and our consumer allies” will work to “make sure this merger never becomes a reality,” it said in its release, criticizing the carriers for their practices on closing call centers and consumer billing practices.
This won’t be for everyone, but if you are interested in learning more about Augmented Reality and how it will impact the workplace, there is an online 90-minute course available called AR & The Future of Work and focuses on how Augmented Reality will impact business. It’s geared toward business executives and the referral comes from Kristi Hansen Onkka who did the virtual reality demonstration for CUE in Newport Beach.
AR has generated more hype than revenue for consumer-facing businesses and the enterprise over the past three years, but all that is about to change. IDC says immersive technologies will grow from $11 billion this year to $162 billion by the end of 2020.
But that’s just tech money? What do AR and VR mean to your business? We could write a book answering that question. As a matter of fact, we did. What is important here, is that the changes are about to happen very fast for consumer-facing businesses in particular and other businesses as well. Apple and Google have announced major launches that will put AR in a half-billion iPhones by the end of 2017, and when you add Android, TechCrunch estimates there will be a total of two billion AR-capable handsets by the end of 2018.
Until recently, most businesses, took a wait and see attitude toward AR, but with numbers like these, it is evident, it is time to learn-and-do: That brings us to AR & The Future of Work, a 90-minute live, online class for executives wanting to understand the why and how of getting started.
Use CONK1 to get $20 off.
The following article discusses some of the changes to existing apprenticeship program that will be created by an executive order which President Trump is expected to sign today.
Trump to sign executive order on apprenticeships
President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Thursday that will cut back the federal government’s role in creating and monitoring apprenticeship programs, a move that the White House says will help fill vacant jobs.
The executive order, which Trump was expected to sign in conjunction with an 11 a.m. speech, is another anti-regulatory victory for business interests. It will move the role of developing government-funded apprenticeship programs from the Labor Department to third-party private entities — including trade groups, labor unions and businesses. The third parties will set their own bar for success and submit their metrics to the Labor Department for approval.
The impact of the changes is an attempt by the Trump administration to open up the apprenticeship model and streamline it by cutting red tape. There are some potential issues looming already. Funding is relatively meager at about $200 million. Critics of the program also fear it will dilute the quality of the program. Given the relatively small scale that apprenticeships play in the overall development of the American workforce, it seems that some experimentation isn’t such a big risk for the Administration to undertake. For CUE members, it is worth noting that it opens the door for both employers and labor unions to expand their offerings in this area.
Trump’s aides said the proposal will make it easier for businesses to operate their own unique apprenticeship programs, cutting back red tape. But it will also hand over tens of millions of public dollars to businesses while reducing the government’s role in setting accountability standards.
“The Department of Labor to date has been very prescriptive and very restrictive on the apprenticeship programs, but the Department of Labor is not an expert as to various individual sectors and what the qualifications are,” a senior White House official said. “So we’re going to let the industry put forth its proposals as to what should make up a high-quality apprenticeship program. But the Department of Labor still sits over and above it and still adjudicates it at the end of the day.”
But Chris Lu, former deputy Labor secretary under former President Barack Obama, said on Twitter that the executive order “will remove gov’t oversight of apprenticeship standards, which will reduce quality.” Lu also said that the doubling of apprenticeship grants would require “a funding shift from other training programs” because the presidents 2018 funding request “is flat.”
“As Trump discusses job training,” Lu added, “consider his last foray into this area: Trump University. That worked out well.” During the transition Trump paid $25 million to settle fraud claims against the venture while maintaining his innocence.
Worth keeping an eye on.