BERLIN, GERMANY–(Marketwired – April 15, 2013) – Rail
technology leader Bombardier Transportation announced today that it has
signed a contract with the State of Florida Department of Transportation to
provide operations and maintenance services for the Central Florida Commuter
Rail Transit project (also known as SunRail). The contract is valued at
approximately $195 million US ($199 million CAD, 149 million euro), and
includes mobilization activities followed by 10 years of service.
Bombardier’s scope of work for the SunRail commuter rail service will include
operations, dispatching, fleet maintenance, track maintenance, customer
service, station platform and facility maintenance, and material supply. The
Bombardier team will mobilize for service over the coming months and assume
its operations and maintenance responsibilities in the spring of 2014.
The fleet for the SunRail service will include 20 BOMBARDIER BiLevel commuter
rail cars that Bombardier will begin delivering this spring. Over 1,000
Bombardier BiLevel cars are already in operation across the United States and
“We are proud to be part of this very important expansion of public
transit in Central Florida, which will increase people’s mobility, provide a
regional transportation alternative to Central Florida’s congested roads, and
benefit the regional economy,” said Raymond Bachant, President,
Bombardier Transportation North America. “This new agreement confirms
Bombardier’s leadership position as a provider of passenger rail equipment and
services in North America and worldwide. Our strong services portfolio
complements our innovative products and technologies, allowing us to form a
true partnership with our customers throughout the entire product life cycle
and to ensure the highest levels of safety, customer service, on-time
performance, fleet availability and reliability.”
Bombardier has a long-standing track record of providing operations and
maintenance services to transit systems across North America including Agence
Metropolitaine de Transport in Montreal, GO Transit in Toronto, the
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, New Jersey Transit, North County
Transit District in California, OC Transpo in Ottawa, the South Florida
Regional Transit Authority, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority,
and, beginning in June, the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train
Service. Bombardier also supports transit systems with overhaul and
refurbishment programs and material and technology solutions.
About Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation, a global leader in rail technology, offers the
broadest portfolio in the rail industry and delivers innovative products and
services that set new standards in sustainable mobility. BOMBARDIER ECO4
technologies – built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy
and ecology – conserve energy, protect the environment and help to improve
total train performance for operators and passengers. Bombardier
Transportation is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and has a very diverse
customer base with products or services in more than 60 countries. It has an
installed base of over 100,000 vehicles worldwide.
Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains.
Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility
worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable
transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our
employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.
Bombardier is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the
Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones
Sustainability World and North America indexes. In the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2012, we posted revenues of $16.8 billion USD. News and
information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter
Note to Editors
For news releases, related material and photos, visit our media centre at www.bombardier.com/en/transportation/media-centre.
Follow Bombardier Transportation on Twitter @BombardierRail.
BOMBARDIER, BiLevel and ECO4 are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK–(Marketwired – Apr 16, 2013) – Cytovance® Biologics, Inc., a leading full-service contract manufacturer of mammalian and microbial biologics, announces the planned expansion of its microbial manufacturing capabilities. In addition to its current 100L Fermenter, Cytovance recently acquired a second 100L and a 1000L Fermenter.
Visit link: Cytovance(R) Biologics to Expand Microbial Manufacturing
From mis-selling and big bonuses to supporting the arms trade, we talk to disenchanted people who sought out an alternative
Barely a month goes by without another tale of a major UK company mis-selling to customers, dodging taxes, or generally behaving badly. Among the most notable, Barclays was fined £290m last summer as banks were caught rigging market rates and, earlier this month, energy giant SSE was slapped with a record-breaking £10.5m fine for mis-selling.
But is all this bad behaviour by corporations having any affect on customer behaviour? Apparently so. A steady stream of disillusioned consumers are seeking out better alternatives among the small providers who still know how to value their customers and deliver on their promises. We talk to five of them about their experiences.
Screen printer Jane Foster, 43, makes toys, quilts and cushions using vintage fabric. When she started eight years ago she sourced fabrics on eBay and sold her wares through the site as well, but has since turned to Etsy.
Etsy is a site designed to showcase and sell a wide range of hand-crafted goods supplied directly by the maker. Originally started in the US by a craftsman, it now has followers in Britain and the rest of Europe.
“It gives me confidence buying on Etsy as you get background on the seller, see pictures of them in their studio and it makes you trust them more,” says Jane who lives in Totnes, Devon with her five-year-old daughter Polly and her partner Jim Palmer, 63.
“I bought a lot of vintage fabric on eBay before it got so huge. Now it’s often not accurately described or arrives stained and in poor condition. And I’ve struggled in the past to get a refund. eBay used to be quite cheap but now everyone is charging more.”
She also doesn’t shop on Amazon except when she’s looking to add to her collection of second-hand children’s books: “I like to help small, independent booksellers, but you do get bombarded by emails from Amazon.”
As a student at the University of Birmingham, Philippa Parry, 25, opened a bank account with NatWest.
She is doing a post-graduate degree in sustainable development run by a London charity, Forum for the Future. But it was when she was working in Barcelona for three years at a business school that she started to question the ethics of Britain’s big banks.
“There were so many examples of where they were not acting in people’s best interests with the banking crisis and bailouts. Why haven’t more heads rolled and why are they still getting big bonuses?” she says. “I was also concerned about what they were doing with my money, whether they were supporting the arms trade and not trading ethically.”
She looked at different options for an ethical bank on campaign site Move Your Money. She chose the Co-operative Bank when she moved back to the UK in August, a switch that went through smoothly.
“It’s a little difficult when I need to cash a cheque as the Co-op hasn’t got branches in my area,” says Philippa who lives in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. “But most of the time I do online banking. Customer service is always great, I don’t have to wait for ages and the people I speak to are always pleasant. But it’s more about ethics. That’s what bothers me.”
Sales account manager Kate Brooks, 37, has experience of two major energy providers – nPower and EDF – and felt she was always treated as though she was a nuisance whenever she contacted either.
“I was really fed up with their attitude,” says Kate who lives in a three-bedroom house in Polegate, East Sussex with her partner Fred Faust, 56, and their eight-month-old baby Oscar. “They always made me feel like I was in the wrong if I rang up, even if it was simply to provide my meter reading. The people on the end of the phone just seemed to be reading from a script and I was always put in a long queue before getting through.”
She looked around and found Ovo Energy, a smaller provider. Not only was it one of the cheapest in the market for her but she liked the way they presented themselves.
“Ovo came across as keen, open and honest, and I liked that they explained about how they invest in renewable energy,” she says. She applied to move through uSwitch and found the whole process very easy.
“I’ve been so impressed with them I’ve been telling other people about them including my Dad.”
This time last year Joanne O’Connell made the decision to live for a year supermarket free. “I had ethical qualms about shopping in a supermarket, and it’s not even that cheap, so why bother?,” she says. Twelve months on and O’Connell – who you can follow on Twitter at @byesupermarkets and who wrote about her experiences online at guardian.co.uk/money/blog – is still supermarket free.
“When I started I wasn’t sure if I could manage for a fortnight, and when friends asked me how I’d celebrate the end of my challenge, I used to say ‘with a major blowout in Sainsbury’s',” she says.
“But what a difference a year makes. Swerving the supermarkets has forced me to change my approach to buying, growing and cooking food. I am spending less, but also eating better, healthier meals.”
To achieve her goal, O’Connell used the year to grow a lot of her own produce. She also took to foraging for food, such as nettles, and learnt to bake bread. For dried foods and other essentials she took to bulk buying from a wholesaler, which she says saved her around a third on supermarket prices.
IT developer Onkar Pathre, 31, was disillusioned with Virgin Media when he moved a month ago to his new home in Crystal Palace in south-east London with his wife Priya, 29, a dentist.
He was part way through an 18-month contract with Virgin for broadband, TV and landline but, despite wanting to stay with Virgin, he was told he’d have to cancel his existing contract and start a new one.
There was a charge of £174 for discontinuing the service and he would have to pay £24.99 a month on his new 18-month contract. And the fee only covered broadband and phone because Virgin couldn’t provide TV in his area.
“I’d been with Virgin for more than three years but it wasn’t prepared to simply switch the service to my new address. A friend told me about Utility Warehouse,” he says.
“It doesn’t advertise, just relies on word of mouth. And it pays the termination charges if you switch to them. I don’t have to take out a contract for broadband, so I can leave at any time.”
It turns out Pathre was given the wrong advice by Virgin and he should have been able to move without paying the disconnection charge. However, he has no regrets.
His new deal works out cheaper – costing £14.99 a month for the landline and £3.99 for the first nine months, rising to £7.99, for 14MB broadband. “The customer service seems very good so far,” he says.
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VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – April 5, 2013) - Cresval Capital Corp. (TSX VENTURE:CRV) (“Cresval”, or the “Company”) announces that further to the Company’s news release dated February 15, 2013, in which it disclosed that it had been served with a Notice of Civil Claim (the “Claim”) alleging monies were owed to Vancouver Island Exploration Inc. (“VIE”), a drilling contractor, of $143,913 for diamond drilling conducted in 2011, the Company wishes to clarify its position with respect to the Claim. The Company replies that VIE overcharged the Company for its services and failed to fulfill the obligations of its contract. The Company has filed a counterclaim against VIE to recover amounts billed by VIE that were not proper charges or were expenses paid by Cresval as a result of VIE’s failure to fulfill its contract.
Go here to read the rest: Cresval Provides Update on Civil Claim
23% of Britain’s major employers keep workers on contracts that deny them the same conditions as regular employees
Almost a quarter of Britain’s major employers now recruit staff on zero-hours contracts that keep workers on standby and deny them regular hours.
According to government estimates, 23% of employers with more than 100 staff have adopted the flexible contract terms for at least some staff following a surge in the number of public sector services contracted out to private providers.
Labour MPs and unions have branded the contracts as a throwback to the Victorian era and say they are being used by employers trying to avoid agency-worker regulations, which entitle agency staff to the same basic terms and conditions as permanent employees after 12 weeks.
The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study found that the proportion of firms with some workers on zero-hours contracts rose from 11% in 2004 to 23% in 2011.
The contracts have long been popular with retailers including Sainsbury’s, Poundland and Abercrombie & Fitch. Large charities and public sector organisations have also adopted the arrangements.
A sharp rise last year in the number of zero-hours contracts in the health sector was blamed by unions on the government’s privatisation of essential services, including radiology, which meant professional workers on such contracts found themselves tied to rotas that could be changed at 24 hours’ notice.
Employers say the contracts provide flexibility for workers juggling family commitments.
However, many of the jobs advertised demand a high degree of knowledge and onerous responsibilities.
In a recent case the security firm G4S advertised for custody detention officers to work alongside Lincolnshire police officers on zero-hours contracts to oversee the safety of people held in custody and, if necessary, restrain them.
Steve Evans, a spokesman for the Police Federation, said the deal, part of a partnership agreement signed last year, was an attempt to apply a business model to policing that kept a reserve group of workers employed on an ad-hoc basis.
He said: “This can obviously create some dangers. Things can change rapidly in a custody environment – legislation, training, equipment and policies and an individual’s experience and knowledge could quickly become out of date if they are not regularly working in the environment.”
Shadow policing minister David Hanson said: “The nature of the job is that the police can suddenly be busy handling a public order situation, so what checks are in the system to ensure staff are available?
“Any public-private partnerships must pass tough tests on value for money, on resilience and security, on transparency and accountability, and most of all on public trust. The public need to trust that policing is being done in the interests of justice, not the corporate balance sheet.”
G4S said zero-hours contracts allowed the company “to provide additional resilience to forces, and ensure they can respond effectively to peaks and troughs in demand, typically coinciding with major sporting events or music festivals”.
It said: “This pool of officers, less than 10% of the total number we employ, receive the same training as their colleagues on full-time contracts and their skills are kept up to date through regular work and training.
The Labour Research Department, which studies employment trends, said there were occasions when a no-strings-attached arrangement might suit workers, “such as sometimes occurs with bank nursing or supply teaching. But it is increasingly being used to replace proper secure employment with its associated guaranteed level of paid work and other benefits.”
It added: “Even worse, it can be applied in such a way that a worker, in order to have any chance of getting paid work, is obliged to be available for work at the whim of the employer and so cannot commit themselves to any other employment.”
Concerns that zero-hours contracts amount to an attack on the terms and conditions of low paid and younger workers were compounded yesterday by speculation that the government plans to cut the minimum wage following a review by the Low Pay Commission.
No 10 has hinted that the current minimum wage of £6.19 an hour could be cut alongside cuts in welfare benefits to ease the burden on employers while the economic situation remains weak.
Even in tough times, these one-sided agreements go too far
Not everyone on a zero-hours contract sits at home waiting for a call. Some employees can access a rota and sign up for as many hours as they want or are allowed. And once on the rota, the hours are secure. But either way, life on a zero-hours contract is a lottery.
It is shocking that figures show nearly a quarter of big employers use them. It is yet another signal, if one were needed, that the recession is hitting the low paid and the young more than we like to imagine.
In the catering and cleaning industries there are some employers who insist workers pay for their training and uniforms, and wait for a call to work on this ever more popular type of flexible contract.
It is not quite that bad in the newly privatised sections of the health and police services. The training is paid for, along with the uniform. But workers still cannot know from one day to the next how much work they will have.
Without an obligation to employ someone for even a minimum number of hours, employers have effectively indentured a member of staff, especially in areas of high unemployment. All the obligations are on one side of the contract. Yes, times are tough, but employers are going too far.
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Sysorex Awarded Prime Position On $250 Million Pillar Contract To Provide SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic Business And Force Support
HERNDON, Va., Feb. 28, 2013
HERNDON, Va., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Sysorex Government Services, Inc. (Sysorex), a leading information technology solutions and services company and wholly owned subsidiary of Sysorex Global Holdings Corp. (SYRX.PK), announced today that they have received a multi-million dollar contract as a small business Prime Contractor on the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic Business and Force Support (BFS) contract.
ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN–(Marketwire – Feb. 28, 2013) - Tethys Petroleum Limited (“Tethys” or the “Company”) (TSX:TPL)(LSE:TPL) today announced that the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the Republic of Kazakhstan (“MOG”) has agreed to extend the Exploration Period for the Company’s Kul-Bas Exploration and Production Contract (the “Contract”) by a further two years until November 11, 2015.
The rest is here: Tethys Petroleum Limited: Kul-Bas Contract Extension
US sportswear giant Nike suspends its sponsorship contract with Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend.
Original post: Pistorius contract suspended by Nike