Britain was a country gripped by fear this morning as the first ever national Human Resources strike threatened to leave a number of staffing issues unresolved in many offices. The news prompted chaotic scenes in Westminster as pressure mounted for Government intervention to prevent the long-running strike by Human Resources Departments from bringing businesses around the country to a level of intolerable inconvenience.
Leader of the opposition, David Cameron, used Prime Minister’s Questions to raise the spectre of an economy grinding to a halt as employees deserted their desks due to neck-strain from poorly positioned computer screens. ‘When…’, he asked, “was the government going to accept that a no-strike regime for personnel managers was the only way to bring them into line with other essential services including the fire service, police, prison officers and the armed forces.’
On the ground, employers were really beginning to feel the pinch as senior management attempted to cover the void left by their missing HR departments for yet another week. ‘We just have no idea which of the first-aid kits are fully stocked,’ confided a director of one major corporation. ‘And we are already more than a month late on our annual office chair audit. If things continue like this, who knows, I could lose half of my staff to repetitive strain injury. Or whatever it is they monitor.’
However a spokesman for the union was in defiant mood. ‘This is only the beginning’ he threatened. ‘Just wait until people realise that their holiday forms are not being signed off, or that performance appraisals haven’t been sent out. Employers will be crawling back to us on their knees soon enough’.
At noon yesterday the Prime Minister gave the go-ahead for the army to be sent in to provide emergency cover, and teams of soldiers were rapidly deployed at key points in personnel departments around the country. ‘We have some paratroopers stationed in the office by the photocopier’ said one secretary. ‘I went to get some advice on an equal opportunities training course I’m interested in and they just made obscene comments about my breasts.’
The HR strike, now entering its tenth week, has resulted in a UK-wide loss of efficiency of 0.0003%, or £1.27. Striking HR professionals have been advising themselves on whether they are ‘working from home’ or taking annual leave. ‘My biggest problem is that I can never remember if I am getting time-off-in-lieu for picketing or not’, said one striker. ‘But when I ring myself up for advice I’m not there.’
ugi (with thanks to Zadok)