Serco Remembers its corporate social responsibilities just in time

by Martin Williams

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03 Nov 2010

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I WAS TALKING in my Risky Business blog on the 21st October about Purchasing Power, and how large corporates will always find ways of"bullying" trade suppliers in order to protect their own financial standing.

Serco Group PLC finds itself on the BBC news for this very reason. A few days ago, its financial director wrote to suppliers asking them to retrospectively agree a 2.5% rebate on annual spend. The letter went on to say "your response will no doubt indicate your committment to our partnership, but will also be something i will seriously consider in our working relationship as Serco continues to grow". .....Hmm, is that some kind of veiled threat I'm wondering ?

Fortunately for its suppliers,Serco must have re-read its own Corporate Social Responsibility brochurefor 2009 that talks of the company's governing principles, one of which states, "We listen.  In doing so, we treat others as we would wish to be
treated ourselves."

Serco has now apologised to all its suppliers saying that it had made a U-turn on the enforced rebate idea. I guess Serco wouldn't have liked its customers threatening them with imposed rebates on past business either.......

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