Texas sheriff’s deputy arrested for allegedly conducting unlawful strip searches

first_imgBexar County Sheriff’s Office(SAN ANTONIO) — A Texas sheriff’s deputy has been arrested for allegedly conducting illegal strip searches, authorities said.Bexar County Sheriff’s Patrol Deputy Floyd Berry, 49, had been recently placed on administrative duty after several victims “made outcries” to the department’s internal affairs unit, which prompted an investigation, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. He allegedly conducted the unlawful strip searches on at least six women between Nov. 24 and Dec. 4, authorities said.Berry has been charged for three counts of official oppression. He was arrested on Saturday around 11 p.m. when he reported for duty at the adult detention center, authorities said.Following his arrest, Berry was placed on administrative leave and has been served with a proposed termination, according to the sheriff’s office. He has been working with the sheriff’s office since November 2001 and was transferred to patrol in December 2015.The sheriff’s office internal affairs unit and public integrity unit are conducting separate administrative and criminal investigations into the allegations against Berry.Authorities are asking anyone who may have been victimized by Berry or have information regarding the investigation to call the sheriff’s office. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Strong storm hitting Southwest with threat of snow; record warmth on tap in Midwest

first_imgABC News(LOS ANGELES) — A new strong storm is hitting the West Coast, especially Southern California from Los Angeles to San Diego, bringing the threat of mudslides, flash flooding, gusty winds, and heavy mountain snow.This storm is expected to move across the country and bring a variety of weather to the Midwest and the East Coast through the weekend.Already this morning, five states from California to Nebraska are under snow, flood, and wind alerts as this storm moves east over the next few days.Early this morning, the storm is bringing torrential rainfall to Los Angeles and San Diego, with possible flash flooding and debris flow. Heavy snow is falling in the Southern California mountains just outside of Los Angeles.By Friday and Saturday the storm begins to move east, through the Rockies on Friday and into the Plains and the Midwest on Saturday.A winter storm watch already been issued for this weekend in Nebraska and Kansas for heavy snow.Ahead of the storm, strong to severe storms are possible from Texas to Tennessee. In the Great Lakes, with mild air around, heavy rain is expected in Chicago and Detroit, and some localized flash flooding is possible.By Sunday, rain from this storm will move into the Northeast.In the meantime, nearly 50 record highs were tied or broken yesterday in the heartland, from Texas to Michigan.In Chicago it hit 57 degrees at O’Hare airport, making it the second warmest Christmas ever recorded in the city and the warmest Christmas there since 1982.The warmest Christmas on record was observed in Des Moines, Iowa, where it hit 60 degrees, and in Louisville, Kentucky, where it was 67.Today, more record highs are forecast in the Midwest with highs near 60 from Chicago to Detroit and near 70 in St. Louis.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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NY AG orders Jim Bakker to stop promoting alleged coronavirus cure

first_imgMichael Tran/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) — New York’s attorney general has ordered a prominent televangelist to stop peddling an alleged coronavirus elixir on his show.Attorney General Letitia James’s office sent a cease-and-desist order to Jim Bakker Tuesday ordering him to stop promoting “Silver Solution” as a remedy for the coronavirus.During a Feb. 12 episode of the The Jim Bakker Show, guest Sherrill Sellman claimed that Silver Solution was able to eliminate some strains of the coronavirus.Asked if the Silver Solution would be effective against the COVID-19 coronavirus, Sellman replied, “Let’s say it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it’s been tested on other strains of the coronavirus and it has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours.”However the World Health Organization has warned that there is currently no treatment for the novel coronavirus, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no known cure for other coronavirus variants that cause SARS and MERS.“Your show’s segment may mislead consumers as to the effectiveness of the Silver Solution product in protecting against the current outbreak,” the cease-and-desist order said. “Any representation on the Jim Bakker Show that its Silver Solution products are effective at combating and/or treating the 2019 novel coronavirus violates New York law.”The product is available for purchase on the show’s website. The attorney general ordered Bakker to stop promoting the product as a coronavirus cure or treatment and to put a disclaimer on its site that says the product hasn’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.James’ office gave Bakker 10 days to show that it complied with the order, or face legal action.“In addition to being mindful about our health, we must also beware of unscrupulous actors who attempt to take advantage of this fear and anxiety to scam or deceive consumers,” James said in a statement.Messages to Bakker for comment weren’t immediately returned.Bakker was convicted in 1989 on multiple counts of fraud after he stole millions of dollars in a fundraising scandal. He spent five years in prison before returning to TV in 2003. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Coronavirus updates: Hundreds of new cases linked to Myrtle Beach trips

first_imgnarvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 512,000 people worldwide.Over 10.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 2.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 127,457 deaths. Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern: 10:50 a.m.: Florida hits 15% positivity rateIn Florida, the number of coronavirus cases jumped by 6,563 in one day, bringing the state to a positivity rate of 15%, according to the state’s Department of Health.In Miami-Dade County, which includes Miami, and in Osceola County, which is near Orlando, 18.2% of those tested are positive.10:25 a.m.: NYC postpones opening indoor diningNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is postponing the reopening of indoor dining, he said on Wednesday.De Blasio said his decision comes as he watches states including Florida, Texas and California “slipping backward,” with cases rising, especially “around people going back to bars and restaurants indoors.”Instead, New York City will “double down” on outdoor dining, de Blasio said.He said 6,600 restaurants are already participating.New York City, initially the nation’s epicenter of the pandemic, is now on the road to recovery.Of those tested for the coronavirus citywide, just 2% are now testing positive, de Blasio said Wednesday.While indoor dining will not yet restart, New York City beaches are opening for the season on Wednesday.8:30 a.m.: Lockdown returns to UK city of LeicesterThe British government is reimposing lockdown restrictions in Leicester following a spike in coronavirus infections. Non-essential shops and most schools in the central city will have to close again on Thursday, just two weeks after reopening. Meanwhile, Saturday’s loosening of restrictions for pubs and restaurants across England will not be taking place in Leicester.The city had “10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week,” U.K. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock told lawmakers Monday. Hancock said the reimposed measures would be enforced by local police “in some cases.” It’s the country’s first such regional lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.7:53 a.m.: Hundreds of new cases reportedly linked to Myrtle Beach visitsHundreds of new coronavirus cases have been linked to recent trips to South Carolina’s popular resort city, Myrtle Beach, according to reports from local ABC affiliates.Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Health Department in Virginia, told Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA-TV that around 100 teenagers from the area have tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting Myrtle Beach.“We’re starting to see more and more positive test results come in, and as we followed up on those, similarly, they had shared they had gone down to Myrtle Beach, at least the Myrtle Beach area,” Goodfriend said. “At least one group said there were about 40 folks staying in one house and they were having parties or being at parties with over 100 people in the house.”Dr. Molly O’Dell, director of communicable disease control with the Virginia Department of Health’s Roanoke City-Alleghany Districts, told Lynchburg, Virginia ABC affiliate WSET-TV that 130 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the area on Tuesday and that more than 100 of them are linked to Myrtle Beach visits.O’Dell recommended anyone returning home from Myrtle Beach to self-quarantine for 14 days and watch for symptoms.7:11 a.m.: 100K cases per day ‘is where we’re heading,’ Harvard doctor warnsDr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, affirmed concerns voiced by the nation’s top infectious disease expert that the United States could see 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day.“That is where we’re heading,” Jha told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Wednesday on Good Morning America.Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, made the stark warning during a Senate hearing on Tuesday, saying, “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [cases] a day if this does not turn around.”But Jha said “there are things we can do right now” to “avoid the fate that Dr. Fauci mentioned.”“First and foremost, I think we need every state to have a mandatory mask law. I just think we can’t dither around on masks; everybody needs to be wearing one when they’re outside of their home,” he said. “Second is, I think we just can’t right now afford indoor gatherings; so no bars, I don’t even know if we can keep restaurants open, certainly not nightclubs. We’ve got to get very serious about that. And then we’ve got to keep pushing on testing and tracing.”If all else fails, “then you have to just essentially shut the state down,” Jha said.“We’ve got to get on top of this otherwise we’ll find ourselves with some very unappetizing choices,” he added. “A stay-at-home order, in my mind, is really the last thing that you do when nothing else has worked.”6:43 a.m.: Washington state sees second-highest increase in casesWashington state reported 571 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, marking its second-highest single-day increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.The state’s highest single-day rise was set on June 19, when 619 new cases were confirmed.Overall, the Washington State Department of Health has reported 32,824 confirmed cases with 1,332 deaths.6:02 a.m.: Tokyo Disneyland reopens for first time in four monthsTokyo Disneyland reopened Wednesday after being closed for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.The 115-acre theme park in Urayasu, near Tokyo, has undertaken a new set of policies and safety measures to protect against COVID-19, such as temperature screenings and the mandatory use of face masks.Tickets to the park must be purchased online in advance. A limited number of guests will be allowed at a time in attractions, shops, restaurants and other facilities. Disney characters must maintain social distancing while greeting guests. Meanwhile, the park’s signature shows and parades remain suspended to avoid the formation of crowds, according to information posted on the Tokyo Disneyland website.Tokyo DisneySea also reopened in Urayasu on Wednesday. Both parks suspended operations on Feb. 29 due to coronavirus concerns.Tokyo, which has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, permitted the area’s amusement parks to reopen in mid-June, after the Japanese government completely lifted the nationwide state of emergency in late May.The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News. 5:35 a.m.: US reports nearly 44,800 new cases in one dayNearly 44,800 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.The latest daily caseload is just under the country’s record high of more than 45,000 new cases identified last Friday.The national total currently stands at 2,636,538 diagnosed cases with at least 127,425 deaths.The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up to over 30,000 and then crossing 40,000 last week.Nearly half of all 50 states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — such as Florida, South Carolina and Georgia — reporting daily records.3:38 a.m.: Europe reopens borders but US travelers remain barredThe European Union began opening its external borders on Wednesday, but travelers from the United States aren’t among those allowed to visit.EU ambassadors have agreed on lifting travel restrictions for 15 countries based on the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including Australia, Canada, South Korea and Tunisia. China was also included on the list but with a caveat — the country must reciprocate by allowing EU travelers to visit.Countries where coronavirus infections are on the rise were excluded from the list, noticeably the United States, Russia and Brazil.The criteria requires that the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days per 100,000 people is similar or below that of the EU’s. According to The New York Times, the average among the 27 countries within the EU was 16 in mid-June; in the United States, it was 107.The EU said countries must also have a “stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days.” The bloc will consider the reliability of each nation’s data as well as what measures have been taken in response to their outbreaks, including contact tracing and testing. Reciprocity will also be taken into account.U.S. President Donald Trump suspended travelers from most European countries in March. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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Pharmacist pleads guilty to federal charges for intentionally sabotaging COVID vaccines

first_imgGrafton Police DepartmentBy IVAN PEREIERA, SASHA PEZENIK, and ALEXANDER MALLIN, ABC News(GRAFTON, Wis.) — A Wisconsin pharmacist pleaded guilty to two federal charges Tuesday and admitted that he tampered with over 500 doses of a coronavirus vaccine, the Department of Justice announced.Steven Brandenburg, 46, of Grafton, Wisconsin, faces up to 20 years in person on two counts of attempting to tamper with consumer products with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury, the Justice Department said in a statement.Brandenburg admitted to removing 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine from cold storage at Advocate Aurora Health Hospital on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, leaving them out to spoil overnight, according to federal prosecutors. The suspect said he was skeptical of vaccines in general and the Moderna vaccine specifically, according to the plea agreement.“Tampering with vaccine doses in the midst of a global health crisis calls for a strong response, as reflected by the serious charges the United States has brought today,” acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division said in a statement.Brandenburg’s attorney declined to comment about the deal.“The FDA has ensured that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine meets the agency’s rigorous standards for quality, safety, and efficacy,” FDA Assistant Commissioner for Criminal Investigations Catherine A. Hermsen said in a statement.About 57 doses from the tampered vials were distributed to patients, according to federal prosecutors.Brandenburg was arrested on New Year’s Eve. He was released conditionally to his home four days later after Wisconsin prosecutors said they needed more time for test results from Moderna to determine the exact damage the pharmacist caused when he tampered with the 57 vials, each of which contained about 100 doses.Last week, Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol said tests were still ongoing, but “the best evidence at this point is that the vaccine remains viable.”Brandenburg’s sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Capitol on high alert but quiet amid March 4 threat

first_imguschools/iStockBy BEATRICE PETERSON and BENJAMIN SIEGEL, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — As Capitol Police and National Guard troops were on high alert amid a potential threat tied to March 4, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi downplayed that the House changed its schedule so it wouldn’t be in session on Thursday.“I don’t think anybody should take any encouragement that because some troublemakers might show up that we changed our whole schedule,” Pelosi told reporters. “No, we just moved it a few hours,” she said, to accommodate Republicans headed to an issues retreat Thursday afternoon.“We were going to be out by noon because we promised that to the Republicans,” she said.The House held a late-night session on Wednesday to ensure that members and staff would not have to be on the Capitol complex on March 4.At the same time, Pelosi conceded there were security concerns for House members, compared to the Senate, which was in session Thursday, noting that the House is “at least four times more people, and therefore, all that that implies in terms of numbers of people in the Capitol if, in fact, there’s any troublemakers around, and it made sense.”Capitol Police officials said earlier Wednesday they had “obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4” — the date far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Donald Trump would return to power.As of mid-day Thursday, security remained visibly tight but there was no indication that any attack would happen.The intelligence, law enforcement sources said, suggested the militia plot hoped to draw 50,000 members from around the country to overwhelm and take the Capitol but there was sign of large numbers of people headed to Washington. Authorities have been monitoring travel to D.C. and hotel reservations and they say they have seen no meaningful uptick –- such things are more noticeable as travel during the pandemic has been relatively light and hotel room availability remains high.Capitol Police faced criticism for not sharing intelligence from the FBI about the potential for violence the day before the Jan. 6 attack and since then smart phones have been distributed to all officers and intelligence shared with them.In response to the ongoing threats, ABC News has confirmed that Capitol Police officials have requested a 60-day extension for the National Guard presence at the Capitol.There are currently more than 5,000 armed National Guard troops still at the Capitol and in the city, down from the peak of 25,000 present for security at the Jan. 20 inauguration.The scheduled end for the 5,000 remaining troops is March 12.Asked about the National Guard presence, Pelosi said a security review could be made public next week.“We should have them here as long as they are needed, and the silliness of this being Inauguration Day … falls into the realm of let’s not waste our time on it,” she said. “We have to have what we need, and when we need it, and in the numbers we need it. But that’s a security decision.”She added, with “the threat of all the president’s men out there, we have to ensure with our security that we are safe enough to do our job.”“It’s going to take more money to protect the Capitol in a way that enables people to come here, children to come and see our democracy in action, all of you to cover what happens here safely, members to be comfortable that they are safe when they are here, and not be concerned about what happened last time, but that — that just doesn’t have a place in a democracy.”Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief U.S. Yogananda Pittman also told Congress in February that there are ongoing threats to disrupt President Joe Biden’s expected speech to a joint session of Congress, perhaps later this month.“We know that members of the militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified,” Pittman testified. “So, based on that information we think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward.”The Capitol security review commissioned by Pelosi and led by retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore will recommend adding roughly 1,000 new Capitol Police officers to the force and improving infrastructure around the Capitol Hill complex, according to an executive summary obtained by ABC News.The draft report, which has been shared with congressional leaders and relevant committees, recommends replacing the temporary, razor wire-topped fencing around the House and Senate office buildings with both mobile and retractable fencing that could still “enable an open campus” absent any threats.It also recommends empowering the Capitol Police chief to request assistance from federal law enforcement and the D.C. National Guard in an emergency, to avoid the bottleneck and extensive delays that plagued the response to the Jan. 6 riot.Other recommendations in the report include that Capitol Police should maintain Civil Disobedience Units to be on duty whenever Congress is in session, that more K9 units are needed to detect explosives, that the Capitol Police mounted unit be reestablished and that a permanent quick reaction force be on standby to supplement Capitol Police and local law enforcement when needed.ABC News’ Jack Date and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Britain trails US in flexible benefits

first_img Comments are closed. Britain trails US in flexible benefitsOn 8 Feb 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article British business is lagging behind the United States when it comes tooffering employees flexible benefits packages.A survey found large and medium-sized companies in the UK are missing out bynot offering the packages to staff – even though experience in the US showsthem to be crucial in retaining staff.HR specialist Centrefile found just 11 per cent allowed employees to tailortheir remuneration package by choosing from a range of benefits.Only 15 per cent of the 200 companies surveyed planned to introduce policiesover the next two years. Centrefile managing director Bruce Thew said, “The type of benefitpackages companies offer are becoming ever more critical in attracting andretaining the best staff.”Yet the survey reveals relatively few organisations in the UK offerflexible benefits packages to supplement the traditional salary.”He added, “Corporate UK has not kept pace with the United States whereflexible benefits policies have become increasingly commonplace.” Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Letters of the week: time-wasters should cough up

first_imgKeep tribunals in perspectiveHow myheart bleeds for those poor firms who are forced to attend employmenttribunals. It’s as if none of them ever faces a legal challenge except fromdisgruntled ex-staff with no case. The CBIshould be ashamed of itself for supporting tougher rules on time-wasters (News,21 November). Most firms face legal challenges every day that have nothing todo with employment.There is asimple reason why employment tribunals have become time-consuming andexpensive: the increasing use of barristers and solicitors to prepare andpresent cases. I knowemployment law has become embroiled in regulation, but it’s not rocket science.Such activity is all down to laziness – it’s easier to hand the case to a legalexpert. Personnel staff have become further removed from the sharp end; now,there’s a real danger of lawyers becoming involved at even earlier stages inthe employment process. We’ve beenconned into believing that the only way to win a tribunal is to bat harder thanthe opposition. So in troop the barrister, the instructing solicitor andassistants, all of whom have to justify their role – and be paid. But who arethey facing? Non-represented tribunal applicants or, at worst, a trade unionofficial. Hardly justifies all this legal firepower, does it?If we wantthe tribunal process to be more efficient, we should review the need forexpensive legal advice and stop pointing the finger at a few off-the-wallapplicants. The fault can easily be laid at the employer, who ratchets up costsfor no good reason.JimHoggartReading Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. I ampleased that some form of risk is likely to be introduced for applicants atemployment tribunals (News, 21 November).Since theincrease of the upper limit of awards at tribunal, many disgruntled formeremployees see the tribunal system as an easy option for financial gain. Often,firms will make a commercial settlement on applications that bear littleresemblance to the actual circumstances of dismissal. While this makes goodshort-term business sense on an individual case basis, it does not bear up inthe long term. It just encourages others to follow suit and try a claim – anyclaim.Thissituation constipates the tribunal system, increases costs for business andunjustly tarnishes the genuine applicants, serving no one’s interests.There hasto be some consideration for the level of potential award against applicantsand their assets, although the proposal for a maximum of £5,000 will not coverthe costs of a professionally run defence by a respondent. A figure double thiswould be more realistic given the employer’s true costs – and the fact thatawards against applicants at the maximum level are likely to be few. Awards areone matter; recovery another – and no doubt another day in court. Ifintroduced, this initiative will be most welcome. It will not end all of ourfrustrations, although it should at least reduce the number of time-wastingclaims.ChrisSharpeHumanresources managerEuropean Helpdesks Weneed to focus on the key issuesThe answerto your question “Will the proposed DTI measures help prevent frivolousclaims?” (News, 21 November) is yes – and about time, too. I’m withCMS Cameron McKenna’s John Renz when he says, “It is the process that costs usso much time and money. It means we have to take our eye off the ball and endup managing failure.” Whenemployers dismiss for good reason, and do it properly, that should be it.Manufacturing in the UK for export markets is being devastated by the strengthof sterling and needs to keep focused on success to have any chance ofsurvival.EricAnderson.Viae-mail Letters of the week: time-wasters should cough upOn 5 Dec 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Resource Guide: Health

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Resource Guide: HealthOn 1 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. This weeks resource guideThe Health Development Agency www.hda-online.org.ukA special health authority aiming to improve the health of people inEngland, replaced the Health Education Authority in 2000. A typically unexciting looking government website, but straightforward touse and contains easy-to-digest information. Includes useful details ofconferences, events and other related websites that could prove invaluable. The Healthy Way www.healthy-way.orgAn online resource for professionals working within the health promotionfield. Includes health training materials in four languages, including English,and lists events such as conventions and workshops. Covers topics including nutrition, heart disease, mental health, cancer,Aids, and safety/accidents. and each entry gives details of target groups thematerial is aimed at, aims and objectives of the material and details of how toget hold of it. An unusual site, but worth a look. Health Promotion Research Internet Network www.ki.se/phs/hprinAn English language site based at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, hostsa mailing list for health promotion and disease prevention research. World Health Organisation www.who.intMain site of the Geneva-based WHO. Gives an overview of work and policy,plus access to databases, related resources, regional offices and epidemiologyinformation. Well worth a look, a very thorough site. World Health Organisation (Europe). European site of WHO www.who.dkHealth Promotion Wales www.hpw.org.ukThis comprehensive resource is aimed at both health professionals and anyoneconcerned about their health and welfare. It is an easy-to-use and clear site covering issues at all stages ofdevelopment from birth to old age. Highlights include research currently being undertaken on a variety ofhealth issues, health promotion topics, tests for health promotion and awide-ranging search engine. Health Education Board of Scotland www.hebs.scot.nhs.ukHealth Promotion Agency Northern Ireland www.healthpromotionagency.org.ukVarious health-promotion organisations www.nigz.nlWide ranging site includes the European Network of Health Promotion, the HealthPromotion Glossary published by the World Health Organisation, theInternational Union for Health Promotion and Education, and a MultilingualThesaurus on Health Promotion. Compiled by Kate Rouy This listing is not exhaustive and the journal welcomes further additionsfrom readers as well as suggestions for further topics of interest to includein this series last_img read more

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Going for the Jaguar

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Going for the JaguarOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The revival of the ailing Halewood car plant on Merseysidehas been likened to a blood transfusion, replacing the corporate blue of Fordwith the green of Jaguar. Guy Sheppard discovers how training helped deliverenormous changesFor motorists, buying a Jaguar is a leap which many will aspire to. For themanufacturer, switching from a mass-produced car to a prestigious marque likeJaguar represents a huge change in company culture and working practices. Most of the Halewood plant on Merseyside was stripped bare last year whenproduction of the Ford Escort was replaced by Jaguar’s new X-Type. The newmanufacturing facilities cost £300m, but the transformation among the3,000-strong workforce was equally far-reaching, with each employee receivingan average of 350 hours of re-training. With the Escort’s fast-moving assembly line, tasks assigned to eachindividual would often only take a few seconds to complete. Under Jaguar, because of the new vehicle’s relative complexity, the taskstake much longer and require far greater skills. Phil Round, Halewood education and training manager, says the X-Typecontains sophisticated technologies such as fibre optics and satellitenavigation systems. “For auto electricians, for example, we had to move a group of peoplefrom very basic electronics to rocket science. With the Escort, it wasrelatively straightforward and people could manage with a basic set of tools.With the Jaguar, a more common tool would be a laptop for diagnostics.” Workers have had to adopt far higher standards of workmanship and learn newskills to meet the waste-free, low-inventory requirements of “leanmanufacturing” that Jaguar insists on. “In the past, you could leaveyour brain at the door, do your eight hours and then go home,” Round says.The task of training the workforce for this more exacting environment wasmade all the more daunting by Halewood’s past record. Productivity levels were low compared to Ford plants elsewhere in Europe andin the mid-1990s the plant was earmarked for closure. Although largely strikefree, industrial relations were far from harmonious. Outmoded Practices Halewood’s operations manager David Hudson, who was transferred fromJaguar’s West Midland headquarters, says relations were characterised by a”them and us” attitude. “We had to get rid of outmoded practices and persuade people to adoptmore flexible working patterns, with the emphasis on delivering quality. “Even more fundamentally, we had to get the workforce on side. We alsohad to overcome some understandable scepticism and convince them we wereserious about delivering change,” he says. One of the main planks of the training programme was, therefore, to create amore open and participative working environment. Tony Woodley, national automotive secretary for the Transport & GeneralWorkers Union, which led the joint union campaign to save the plant, says thechanges were too quick and unpalatable for some. “It would be dishonest to say there hasn’t been some pain,” hesays. “Employees were asked to buy into a new world and many hundreds werenot prepared to do that and left.” The changes in working practices at Halewood were achieved in 18 months,whereas in the West Midlands, similar changes were negotiated with Jaguar overthree wage agreements. The transition from Ford to Jaguar is described internally as a bloodtransfusion, replacing Ford’s corporate blue with Jaguar’s green. The process began in late 1998 after Halewood was announced as the productionsite for the new “baby” Jaguar, and the manufacturer’s managementtook over the running of the plant. Within a year, the Escort became Ford’s most improved product in Europe.Halewood employees began working alongside Jaguar engineers in the WestMidlands to prepare the X-Type for production. In the old days, the first time employees were familiarised with a new modelwas three months before “job one” – when the plant begins producingfor customers. “Nine times out of 10, it didn’t work,” says Round. The longer lead-in time allowed shopfloor workers to help decide how thevehicle could be built most efficiently. There is an immense amount ofexperience and skills from the Ford days and that, coupled with Jaguarengineering expertise, ensures the car is easy and safe to build,” saysRound. A seven-strong core training team was set up to deal with all aspects oftraining at Halewood. Weekly training meetings were attended by Hudson’s deputyand a training team member went to any launch planning meetings where therewere implications for training. Each member of the core team was given specificareas of responsibility within the plant and liaised regularly with theiropposite number in the West Midlands. To meet the new requirements of Jaguar, management concentrated on threeareas: quality, centres of excellence and culture change. To improve quality,the workforce had to adopt the standards that were already established in thecompany’s existing plants. As well as making individuals more responsible for the standard of theirwork, they were reorganised into groups of six or seven, half their formersize. Empowered”We have empowered the group leaders to deal directly with theengineers and the suppliers,” says Round. Almost every employee visited Jaguar’s other plants and around 500 spentthree months there absorbing its working techniques and culture as well asdeveloping efficient processes for building the new cars. Some went as”product coaches” so they could pass these on to the Halewood workforce.The centres of excellence were set up to introduce new working practices ina gradual, controlled manner because it was felt that establishing uniformperformance standards at a plant the size of Halewood was simply too vast atask to tackle all at once. Round says, “Areas of the plant were set up so people could actuallysee what was going to be expected of them. In any change situation, it’simportant to show people at the earliest opportunity the new state you aretrying to get to.” Senn-Delaney Leadership, an international consultancy, masterminded theshift in culture that was needed. John Clayton, European managing director,says his initial impression was of a “dark, dirty, loud andnegative-thinking place in all directions”. He adds, “Different areas distrusted each other and people did not wantto be working there. “We did focus groups, primarily with non-management people. That gaveus clarity in what was causing it to be such an unhealthy culture. So much ofit was to do with history with everybody looking through old filters.” Three-day workshops were run for management and union leaders and then atwo-day version was rolled out to the rest of the workforce. Clayton says, “We don’t consider ourselves trainers. The workshop hasan experiential format with activities designed to catch yourself beingyourself.” The next step was to focus on how behaviour needed to change to create ahigh-performance environment with teamwork, mutual respect and accountabilityamong the areas covered. Clayton attributes much of the success of theworkshops to operations manager Hudson’s willingness to discuss these ideaswith each group. “He was scheduled to be there for half an hour andsometimes he would be there an hour and a half later.” Ten people from across the workforce, including four who were hourly paid,were trained by the consultancy to run the workshops. “Normally, we go for people with public speaking and presentationexperience to do this,” says Clayton. “But it carried so much moreweight coming from these people. If I had done it, they would have said, ‘Whois this American guy and what does he know about working here?’.” More facilitators were trained to run another round of workshops that lookedat how the new, smaller assembly teams could put the principles of continuousimprovement into practice. “If you are working with a small team, it’s sovaluable if you’re prepared to talk to other members about what they are doingwell or how they could do things more effectively,” says Clayton. The most critical phase of the transformation was immediately after Escortproduction ceased in July 2000. With an eight-week gap before production of thenew model started, a wide-ranging training programme was adopted for most ofthe workforce. It was devised to emphasise the difference between building ahigh volume car and an upmarket one like the X-Type. Nearly 900 employees spent 10 days at a local college developing foundationskills such as literacy, numeracy and computing. These were all relevant tomeeting the requirements of lean manufacturing where working practices arestandardised to cut out waste and achieve consistently high quality. Round says, “If you had gone down the assembly line in the heyday ofthe Escort, you would not have seen it because there was so much stock about.The concept of lean manufacturing is actually based on doing things less; youeconomise on the lay-out and the stock you use.” A week was devoted to lean manufacturing issues led by plant supervisors andgroup leaders who had been trained to coach hourly paid employees. Time was also devoted to discussing Jaguar’s heritage and the competition itfaced around the world. An entire week was spent on 19 projects to benefit thelocal community, ranging from clearing gardens on a run-down council estate tobuilding a Chinese garden in a local primary school. Round says there were two main spin-offs from this work – underliningJaguar’s involvement and commitment to the local community and bonding the newworking teams together. It also helped break up time spent in the classroom. “We were consciousof the fact we did not want to sit them down in a classroom and bombard themwith facts week after week,” he says. “We had an individual training plan for every employee group, and thatmeant a lot of juggling to fit in all the visits to colleges, visits to Jaguarand classroom teaching at Halewood.” The final phase of the training programme lasted until February whenproduction for customers began. The time was used to fine-tune the production processes and ensure that allthe theory learned in the previous months was being put into practice. Thisinvolved assessing each person’s ability to carry out specific tasks related tothe training given. Candidates who failed to achieve the minimum standard weresingled out for further training. This procedure now forms part of a twice-yearly assessment of career andtraining needs which supervisors carry out with every shopfloor operative. Halewood is currently producing 400 cars a day and is on target to reach theeventual output target of 100,000 a year. According to Round, training colleagues from the West Midlands say Halewoodalready mirrors the standards and procedures established in their plants. InJuly, the plant achieved Investors in People status. His tip for anybody else attempting such an ambitious transformation projectis to keep in mind the big picture – his team’s mission statement is to providethe workforce “with the necessary competences to safely build the bestquality vehicles in the world”. He also says it is necessary to establish what skills and qualities theemployees have got and ask whether they will be sufficient for any new demandsthey will face. “Very often, people resist change not because they don’t want to, butbecause they lack the skills and qualities that are needed,” he says. last_img read more

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