AGM Activism: the 4,000th Living Wage employer – thanks to Share Action!

 Miscellany  Comments Off on AGM Activism: the 4,000th Living Wage employer – thanks to Share Action!
Apr 262018
 

We all deserve to be paid a true Living Wage: a fair day’s pay for a day’s hard work, calculated based upon the Cost of Living. That’s why in Summer 2017 I attended Croda International’s AGM, on behalf of Share Action.

I knew we may be pushing on an open door; and I’m glad to say we were: our approach asking them to consider Living Wage Foundation accreditation was well received.

As a result, Croda met with ShareAction and the Living Wage Foundation; and in March 2018, Croda became the 4,000th UK company to become Living Wage Foundation accredited!

Picutre: me on a bus

On the Bus to the AGM

So yesterday I went to their AGM to congratulate them on their achievement, and to ask them what benefits the Living Wage is bringing them.

Before the “formal” business started, I chatted with Group Chief Executive Steve Foots. He described the Living Wage as a “no-brainer” for such a people-focussed company; and he was glad to share the good news around all areas of the company. Tracy Sheedy, Group HR Director told me that Croda’s commitment to the Living Wage had resulted in increasing wages and compliance across other local employers, which is great.

Then the formal business began. I steeled myself to ask my question – the first of several searching questions from the audience. I introduced the subject, and asked:

In what way do you see this positive investment in your employees as helping to deliver your strategy for the years ahead?

a selfie

With Anita Frew, Group Chair of Croda International

Croda’s directors told me that they were very grateful ShareAction had brought the Living Wage to their attention. It shows the power of listening to shareholders, and they were very happy to move forward. On reviewing their workforce, they discovered that only 10 of their 1,000+ UK employees were paid under the living wage. This was unacceptable given their people culture, and something they sorted out immediately. Now they are working on making sure all their contractors also pay the Living Wage.

People are the most important asset to Croda, as it is People who deliver innovation. They’re proud to be “doing the right thing” and have noticed a morale boost, and the publicity it has generated has also been positive, particularly as they happen to be the 4,000th Living Wage employer.

Afterwards, I persuaded Anita Frew, Group Chair to agree to a selfie with me (thanks Anita!), and I celebrated with the Board and shareholders over posh nosh, in the similarly posh surroundings of the Pavilions of Harrogate.

I guess it just goes to show: Share Activism does make a difference!

Interactive Map: British Driver Only Operation and Station Staffing

 Trains  Comments Off on Interactive Map: British Driver Only Operation and Station Staffing
Mar 292018
 

A co-campaigner has produced the following map from “my” Driver Only Operation and station facilities data. It shows the DOO/DCO status of British rail stations, their staffing, the presence of call points and their step-free status. Zoom in and select a station for more detail.

Driver Only and Staffing status of UK Stations. With thanks to Jeff for coding.

Station accessibility across Britain mapped

 Trains  Comments Off on Station accessibility across Britain mapped
Feb 042018
 
Map showing distribution of step-free and non-step-free access stations in Great Britain

A map showing the spatial distribution of stations with and without step-free access across Great Britain

This map takes step free access data for each of Great Britain’s 2,572 main-line railway stations as listed in Knowledgebase (the rail industry’s station information database) on 3rd February 2018. (There are actually 2,563 stations – the extra 9 in the database are bizarre anomalies such as including Elephant and Castle underground station.)

There are significant accuracy problems with the information in this database, particularly on step-free access. One significant problem is that the database’s owners (Rail Delivery Group) unilaterally eradicated the “partial step-free access” category in a cost-cutting exercise a couple of years ago (without changing the database specification…). In the process they designated “partially step free” stations (with step-free access to some platforms but not others) as being either entirely step-free or having no step-free access at all, without any clear method for said re-designation. Other accuracy issues include that station operating companies (mainly train operating companies and Network Rail) are… patchy in their compliance with their licensing obligation to make sure that this information is correct, and Rail Delivery Group are patchy in their technical processes for updating the database when station operators provide this information.

So the above isn’t 100% correct in detail. However, the overall impression it gives is correct.


A better version for people with colour-blindness (sorry, I should have thought of that!)

Step Free Access station coverage map for people with colour-blindness

A map showing the spatial distribution of stations with and without step-free access across Great Britain, with better colour contrast for colour-blind people.

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