Business Diary: Unite picks the wrong day for a meltdown

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The Independent Online

A big moment for Unite yesterday, what with its renewal of hostilities with British Airways. A pity, then, that the phone and computer system at the trade union's London headquarters went down, forcing it to send staff home. Was that the BA boss, Willie Walsh, who we saw outside with a pair of wire-cutters?

A sales pitch arrives just a little too late

As the last remnants of the snow melt away (at least in Diary's part of the world), a handy little missive arrives from an outfit called Barbour Environment, Health & Safety. It is selling The Barbour Kit for Coping with Snow and Ice, a useful little guide to keeping your employees safe during adverse weather conditions. Stable door at all?

The longest 30 minutes in radio history

Let's hope the BBC serves a decent cup of coffee. At the crack of dawn yesterday morning – well, ten past six – business news presenter Adam Shaw welcomed Standard Life fund manager David Cumming into the Today programme studio for a chat about the developing story of the Cadbury takeover. Both men agreed that a rival bidder was expected to show its hand "within the next half-hour". It must have been a long day.

Still time to catch up with the badger

Diary reported last month on Ruth Badger – she of The Apprentice fame and fortune – and her move into the lucrative business seminar sector. Several weeks later we are still receiving emails from her promoters beseeching us to part with £395 for the benefit of her wisdom. We know Ms Badger often stresses that persistence is an important business virtue, so far be it from us to suggest that her backers are struggling to fill the audience.

There's plenty of lying down on this job

Fair play to hotel chain Holiday Inn for finding work for people in these difficult economic times (with unemployment soaring, that's to be applauded). But can it really justify employing human bed-warmers, who will go and lie in your bed for a while (wearing a special suit, naturally) so that it's nice and toasty when you're ready to turn in?

Number of the day: 51 per cent

The predicted increase in online revenues that companies will earn from China in 2010