Tuesday, 27 March 2007

GMB meets private equity firm

The GMB leadership today met with their favourite people, Damon Buffini and crew from the private equity outfit Permira. There's a vague positive statement on Reuters:

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Permira [PERM.UL] managing partner Damon Buffini and the GMB union said they held constructive talks on Tuesday about the Automobile Association, the roadside assistance firm owned by the private equity firm.

"The parties have agreed to consult further and to seek to build a constructive dialogue," they said in a joint statement.

The discussions represented a landmark meeting between Permira and the union, which has made Buffini the centerpiece of its highly vocal campaign criticizing the private equity business model and its effect on jobs.

After repeated requests to meet, Buffini sent a letter last month to Paul Kenny, the general secretary of the GMB, in a bid to calm the rising antagonism, saying he was "eager to set the record straight."

The GMB has not been the AA's recognised union since March 2005 when thousands of members left to form the AA Democratic Union. Some of the company's 7,000 employees remain affiliated with the GMB, however.

Permira said on Tuesday its position remains that employees can be represented by whomever they choose.


Anonymous said...

In September I would have speculated that MS would not be treating a first-tier Orange Country business investment like Blackstone this way. But as the Fall has progressed and the potential liability increased it is clear that banks are willing to risk even their largest clients to wriggle away from some of these deals.

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