Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Boycott Arup

This one might be a bit tricky as Arup are not a company with a retail or public facing business, so advice on the merchanics of a boycott would be welcomed. They are included on this site for completeness as I am trying to compile similar information on all the 35 plonkers who think because they make more than the cleaner in their offices that they are entitled to call for wholesale cuts and jobs losses without repercussions.

Arup are an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services in construction. The firm is present in the Americas, Australasia, East Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and now has over 10,000 staff based in 92 offices in 37 countries.

Arup was founded in Ireland 1946, as the Danish Ove N. Arup, Consulting Engineers by Sir Ove Nyquist Arup. Sir Ove set out to build a firm where professionals of diverse disciplines could work together to produce projects of greater quality than was achievable by them working in isolation. In 1963, together with the architect Philip Dowson, Arup Associates was formed to offer multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering services. In 1970, the firm reformed as "Ove Arup & Partners".

Arup has no shareholders or external investors, and is owned wholly by trusts whose beneficiaries are its past and present employees who receive a share of the firm's operating profit each year.

Arup are best known for their design work for the built environment. Projects to which it has contributed include the Sydney Opera House, which is largely credited with launching Arup into the premier league of engineering consultancies, 30 St Mary Axe, known as The Guerkin, and the famous 'wobbly' Millenium Bridge which opened for one day and had to be closed for two years for repairs.

Philip Dilley joined Arup as a graduate engineer in 1976 and worked his way up the company, with stints in Japan and the Gulf. In 1993 he became Director of Ove Arup & Partners following his successful win of the £700million Kansai International Airport in 1989 and by 2004 he was appointed as Head of Arup’s Europe and Middle East Region where he was responsible for delivering over 50% of the firm’s global turnover.

On 18th October, Philip Dilley signed an open letter calling on the Chancellor to continue the coalition government's plans to reduce the public finance deficit in one term, plans which included swingeing cuts on the poorest members of society and which risk pushing this country into a double-dip recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the last time the tories took power and tanked the economy in the early 80's.

This was ironic as Arup sacked 400 people in 2009, so claiming, as the letter did, that the private sector could create replacement jobs for those lost was a triumph of hope over experience for Dilley.

For this reason Philip Dilley is considered to be a fully signed up member of the Big Business Society and we urge people to boycott Arup in any way you can, although in effect it mat be that only those responsible for commissioning building projects will have the opportunity to directly exclude them from the process.

At the time of this posting Philip Dilley is on a tour of China and South Korea as part of a trade delegation with David Cameron, George Osborn, Vince Cable and other signatories to the letter including Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots (registed officce address in Switzerland), Paul Walsh, chief executive of Diageo, Ben Gordon, chief executive of Mothercare (registered office address in the Netherlands), and Bob Wigley, Chairman of Yell Group plc where they will all be spending your taxpayers' money promoting the interests of their companies and not the UK.

We're all in this together? You're having a laugh!

Update 19th January 2011

The tour of the Far East may not have been a great success for Arup as they've just announced that they are sacking 15% of their UK staff. See - Arup Culls 670 UK Jobs - for details. Philip's still there of course.

It would seem that the replacement jobs promised by the 35 signatories to replace the 500,000 lost as a result of the cuts they supported aren't going to come.


  1. It's getting more complicated every time I look at it.