“Safety” Honda style

This is a letter to the Swindon Advertiser.

I am pleased to hear that Honda management is “not prepared to compromise the safety of their staff”. What comes as something of a surprise, however, is that the main threat to their health and safety comes from cake and fruit, rather than the work they do. Perhaps the company can, in the interests of transparency, publicise the statistics for accidents in the plant, including those resulting from the proliferation of crumbs throughout the workplace. Would that be too much to ask, or is such a thing not possible because it’s ‘commercial in confidence’?

It was also interesting to read a spokesperson tell us that, benevolent company that they are, all “associate related issues” (staff or workers to you and me) are discussed “through our associate representative council”. However, this is a bit of a freudian slip, not mentioning the trade union which the company is supposed to recognise. Oh no, we discuss things with our beloved ARC.

I don’t know who the spokesperson was but their knowledge of life on the factory floor does seem a trifle lacking. Running to the canteen in a 10 minute break?

By the way, how is this rule being policed? CCTV in the break areas? Searching of all staff when they leave the break areas or finish work, for the tell-tell signs of crumbs clinging to their clothing or juice stains from fruit?

No wonder workers feel that they are being treated like children.

Martin Wicks
Secretary, Swindon TUC


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