Global HR headlines: Huawei looks to workers for business ideas, Lufthansa staff want “cost-cutting craziness” to end

Truck maker AB Volvo has begun laying off some of its Russian staff, scales down operations.

Lufthansa’s decision to slash jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic leads to understaffing, with staff now calling for an end to “cost-cutting craziness”, while Huawei asks workers to come up with ideas that have business value as the company seeks to fix its ailing business. Meanwhile, AB Volvo says it is unable to conduct operations in Russia and starts to lay off employees.

Huawei calls on employees for business ideas

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has written a memo to employees, calling them to contribute ideas about the company’s future direction, reports South China Morning Post. This at a time when the Chinese company is struggling to find a revenue source that matches the profitability of its once-thriving smartphone business.

“Huawei's strategy should not be decided by a handful of people as it should come from tens of thousands of experts who study our future direction and the path to get there,” Zhengfei said in the memo.

“Your innovation should have business value, rather than just being an idea,” he added.

End “cost-cutting craziness”, say Lufthansa staff

Lufthansa staff have called for an end to “cost-cutting craziness”, accusing the airline of mismanagement and contributing to the recent chaos at airports by laying off too many workers.

The German carrier slashed jobs and other costs during the Covid-19 pandemic, which grounded most flights, and found itself understaffed just as it was trying to capitalise on the returning summer travel demand.

In a letter to the supervisory board seen by Reuters, staff representatives said there are too few employees to handle booming summer demand and they need to be given the right conditions to perform at their best, and warned “a service company that is run against its own staff has no future.”.

AB Volvo begins Russia staff layoffs

Truck maker AB Volvo has begun laying off some of its Russian staff and scaling down operations, but has not made a decision to leave the country entirely.

The Swedish firm in February suspended all sales, service and production in Russia.

“In the current situation it is not possible for us to conduct operations in Russia,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Rise in workplace accidents and deaths in Singapore

An outflow of experienced workers, coupled with tight delivery timelines amid the pandemic could be contributing factors to a recent rise in workplace accidents and deaths in Singapore.

“Right now, firms have access to new workers because the borders are open, but they tend to be less experienced and require more supervision. Consequently, more experienced workers are eager to go home since they haven’t been back in a long time, and so it creates a manpower constraint, which firms may not be able to adequately supervise,” Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council general manager Christopher Koh told the Strait Times.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a Singapore Contractors Association's (Scal) event aimed at raising safety standards in the construction sector.