PennyStockPayCheck.com Rss

Featured Posts

Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

Read more

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

Read more

Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

Read more

Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

Read more

UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

Read more

Minimum wage to increase to £6.31

Category : Business, World News

The national minimum wage will rise by 12p an hour to £6.31 for adults and by 5p to £5.03 for 18-to-20-year-olds from October.

Read the rest here: Minimum wage to increase to £6.31

Post to Twitter

Downdraft theory in Lion Air crash

Category : Business

Investigators consider whether powerful ‘wind shear’ or ‘microburst’ caused Bali crash in which all 108 on board survived

The Lion Air pilot whose jet fell into the sea while trying to land in Bali has reportedly described how he felt it “dragged” out of its trajectory and into the water. Investigators are considering whether a powerful downdraft of wind caused the crash in which all 108 passengers and crew survived despite the Boeing 737 cracking in half on impact.

The newly built plane undershot the tourist island’s main airport runway in Denpasar and belly-flopped in water on Saturday. Authorities from Indonesia, the US and Boeing are investigating.

Initial debriefings, witness comments and weather reports have focused attention on the possibility of “wind shear” or a downdraft from storm clouds known as a “microburst”. Experts say such violent and unpredictable gusts are rare but can leave even the most modern jet helpless if they are stronger than the plane’s ability to fly out of trouble – with the critical moments before landing among the most vulnerable.

“If you have a downdraft which exceeds the performance of the plane, then even if you put on full thrust you will go downhill and you can’t climb out,” said Hugh Dibley, a former British Airways captain and expert on loss-of-control events.

The cause of the crash has potential implications for the reputation of one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, which is fighting to be removed from a European Union safety blacklist just as it buys record volumes of Airbus and Boeing jets.

According to initial pilot debriefings, details of which have been described to the Reuters news agency, flight JT-904 was on an eastwards approach to Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport at mid-afternoon on Saturday following a normal flight from Bandung, West Java.

The co-pilot, an Indian national with 2,000 hours of relevant flying experience, was in charge for the domestic trip, which was scheduled to last one hour and 40 minutes.

As the Lion Air plane was coming in to land, with an aircraft of national carrier Garuda following behind and another about to take off on the runway just ahead, the co-pilot lost sight of the runway as heavy rain drove across the windshield. The captain, an Indonesian citizen with about 15,000 hours’ experience and an instructor’s licence, took the controls.

Between 122 metres and 61 metres altitude (400-200ft) pilots described flying through a wall of water, according to the source. Bursts of heavy rainfall and lost visibility are not uncommon in the tropics but the aircraft’s low altitude meant the crew had little time to react.

With no sight of the runway lights or markings the captain decided to abort the landing and perform a “go around”, a routine manoeuvre for which all pilots are well trained. But the captain told officials afterwards that instead of climbing the 737 started to sink uncontrollably and their well-practised routines unravelled quickly.

“The captain says he intended to go around but that he felt the aircraft dragged down by the wind; that is why he hit the sea,” said the source, who was briefed on the crew’s testimony. “There was rain coming east to west; very heavy,” the source said, asking not to be named because no one is authorised to speak publicly about the investigation while it is under way.

A passenger on board the jet painted a similar picture of an aircraft getting into difficulty only at the last minute. “There was no sign at all it would fall but then suddenly it dropped into the water,” Tantri Widiastuti, 60, told Metro TV.

Lion Air declined to comment on the cause of the crash.

According to the Flight Safety Foundation, bulletins for pilots at around that time indicated a few storm clouds at 518 metres (1,700ft) and a wind blowing moderately but varying in its direction from east-south-east to the west.

The aircraft itself was delivered in February and there had been only one technical problem: a landing light that had to be replaced.

According to Boeing, the 737-800, its most popular current model, is equipped with a system that detects wind shear ahead and warns the pilot audibly to go around.

Work doesn’t pay for multi-part-time employees

Category : Business

On paper the number of people in work has risen. But many of these jobs are part time, poorly paid and insecure

They’re the forgotten victims of Britain’s long recession. The individuals and families who have lost well-paid work, but figure only briefly in the unemployment figures as they patch together poorly paid part-time work while struggling to cope with a collapse in their living standards.

Sophie Gaskin worked for 13 years as a forensic scientist then, as a trainer, she taught government agencies and police forces how to gather valuable evidence. She was made redundant in October 2010, shortly before the government closed the Forensic Science Service after it ran up losses of £2m a month – a decision later condemned by the House of Commons science and technology committee for the impact it may have on the criminal justice system.

But for Sophie, it has been personally devastating. After specialising in a niche area, she has found it impossible to find work elsewhere using her scientific skills.

Her savings were initially too high to qualify for welfare benefits. “I couldn’t claim until I was down to the minimum £5,000. Then it took six months to get any money, by which time I was down to my last few pounds,” she says. She has, though, qualified for housing benefit on the flat she rents in Surrey.

This single, fortysomething, has only been able to find part-time admin work paying £8 an hour, and is desperately struggling to make ends meet. “There’s no possibility of going full time and, even if I could, I’d lose my housing benefit. On such a low wage I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent,” she says.

Gaskin has been helped by her union, Prospect, which has provided training and advice, as well as four days of paid work as a trainer.

However, that income resulted in the loss of jobseeker’s allowance.

She goes to the supermarket in the evenings, looking for sell-by date reductions. “I buy value brands and shop late to pick up cut-price food. I get fruit and vegetables from my mother and bake my own bread,” she says.

She’s resilient but is clearly saddened by the loss of her job: “I am upset that forensic evidence is being overlooked. That could lead to miscarriages of justice.”

Low-paid part-time work and self-employment have mushroomed in Britain since 2007 as laid-off workers battle to maintain their living standards. Many economists have been puzzled at the lower-than-expected levels of unemployment, given the scale of the fall in GDP since 2008.

The jobless total jumped from 1.6m in early 2008 to a peak of 2.7m in 2011, but has since dropped to 2.5m. Meanwhile, those in work has risen to a record high of 29.73m, a result of population growth and what the government hails as a dramatic increase in private-sector employment.

But the majority of the newly-created jobs are in the service sector, many part-time, poorly paid and insecure. Even for these, critics say, there is competition from an army of underemployed workers seeking longer hours. A recent poll conducted by IPSOS Mori found that 40% of people in work (and 65% of 18 to 24-year-olds) said they would take on more hours if they could.

A report from the Resolution Foundation on the “squeezed middle” found that low-to-middle-income workers account for 70% of the overall growth in self-employment. Increasing food inflation means families within this group have to pay a £280 cost of living “premium” as they spend a greater share of their budget on essentials (which have risen faster than other goods) compared with higher-income households.

Lower income households are also bearing the brunt of unavoidable increases in the cost of food and utilities, such as gas, electricity and water.

Andrea Kennedy, 48, a divorced mother of two in Liverpool, is typical of those surviving on casual contracts with no job security and sometimes weeks or even months without work.

Until two-and-a-half years ago she was just about managing to cope taking short-term, six-month and 12-month contracts as a full-time administrator. “It was financially hard work, as I was often out of work for up to a month between contracts,” she says.

After yet another contract ended prematurely, she has turned to cleaning to earn a full-time income. “Until recently I’ve been doing three or four part-time cleaning jobs on the minimum wage of £6.19 an hour in order to make ends meet. However, eight weeks ago my hours were cut as one company lost a contract. Now I only have 21 hours.”

Although she owns her two-bed house, she made the mistake of taking out a £15,000 secured loan on her home in 2006 and is still struggling to pay the debt, which has grown to £24,000. “My mortgage is £251 a month and £223 on the loan. At best, I’m only earning £775 a month and, because my working hours fluctuate, I can’t claim tax credits when they drop below 30 hours a week.”

She admits her standard of living has been hit hard. “I’ve had to sell my car, cut back on food and can’t afford a computer or phone. There are no nights out and a cup of coffee is the only treat I can afford.”

She is now considering moving out of Liverpool and gets by with the help of friends and Citizens Advice.

The Trussell Trust, a charity that operates food banks in the UK, says it is not just the homeless, or those living entirely on benefits, who are using its services, but also the working poor, whose incomes have plummeted.

“We’re opening three new foodbanks every week to try and help local communities meet the growing need for emergency food,” says its executive chairman Chris Mould. “People are often surprised that less than 5% of foodbank clients are homeless but many of the 300,000 people we’re helping are low-income working families.”

Moreover, many workers are also getting into debt. National Debtline is a free national telephone helpline for people with debt problems in England, Scotland and Wales. Its spokesperson, Paul Crayston, says: “Almost half of the 234,000 calls in 2012 were from people in employment.”

But there are some who, having gone through the trauma of losing their job and taking a cut from a relatively high income, are now happier.

Maisie Collin, 36, lives in London with her 18-month-old son and her fiancé. Before the recession she worked on a freelance basis in the youth and family care sector, with an income of around £55,000.

After the downturn she took a job as a director of a charity, earning £40,000. In 2011 it was dissolved and she was made redundant while pregnant.

Maisie was unemployed for 18 months, not claiming benefits. She re-mortgaged her flat and used the money to retrain as an Ofsted-registered childcare provider and turn her flat into a nursery. She now runs a daycare centre from home part time, paying two apprentices from a local college to help. She also does part-time life coaching and massage therapy, as well as voluntary work with young people and families. She estimates her new income at between £33,000 and £35,000.

“I’ve got no security, and I have to work really hard. But I love the variety. My lifestyle had to change: everything stopped – I’d eat out quite a lot before, but we couldn’t do that, so I ate differently. I reduced going out.

“It can really affect everything, from your lifestyle to your friendships and relationships with your family. I had to create my own work, and I do earn a lot less than I used to and have a child to support, but I am happier now.”

Unite calls for general strike

Category : Business, World News

Britain’s biggest trade union, Unite, is calling for a 24-hour general strike against austerity measures.

Go here to see the original: Unite calls for general strike

Post to Twitter

Big rise in firms hiring staff on zero-hours contracts

Category : Business

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.

The Inspiration of One Hour Goes Beyond the Hour

Category : Stocks

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – March 24, 2013) - WWF’s Earth Hour has just concluded another record sweep around our planet from Samoa on one side of the International Date Line to the Cook Islands on the other, with hundreds of millions again uniting to send a clear message – we are determined to create a sustainable future for our planet.

See the original post here: The Inspiration of One Hour Goes Beyond the Hour

Post to Twitter

Media Advisory: WWF Celebrates Earth Hour in Vancouver with Students at UBC

Category : Stocks

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – March 23, 2013) - To celebrate the sixth anniversary of Earth Hour, WWF-Canada and a University of British Columbia (UBC) student group, Common Energy, will host an open-mic night on Saturday, March 23.

Read this article: Media Advisory: WWF Celebrates Earth Hour in Vancouver with Students at UBC

Post to Twitter

Fortress International Group, Inc. (FIGI: OTCQB) | Fortress International Group To Report 4th Quarter And 2012 Financial Results On Thursday, March 21, 2013

Category : Stocks

< ?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Fortress International Group To Report 4th Quarter And 2012 Financial Results On Thursday, March 21, 2013

PR Newswire

COLUMBIA, Md., March 14, 2013

COLUMBIA, Md., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

Post to Twitter

Childcare costs rising by more than twice the rate of inflation

Category : Business

Average cost rose by 6% last year and a nursery place for a child aged two or under is 77% more expensive than in 2003

Childcare costs in Britain are rising at more than twice the rate of inflation and have increased over the last 10 years, despite average earnings falling back to 2003 levels, according to research .

The Childcare Costs Survey 2013 found the average cost of childcare rose by 6% last year against a backdrop of 2.7% inflation, stagnant wages and increases in working tax credit payments, including the childcare tax credit, being pegged at 1%.

Anand Shukla, chief executive of the Daycare Trust, which produced the report, said: “It’s a massive financial burden … childcare costs for many parents can be higher than their rent or mortgage payments. We know many parents go into debt or put it on their credit card.”

A nursery place for a child aged under two rose by 4.2% last year compared with the previous 12 months to £4.26 an hour on average, equivalent to £106.38 a week for a part-time place (25 hours) and £11,000 a year for a full-time place, according to the survey. That makes a nursery place for a child aged two or under 77% more expensive in real terms than it was in 2003. For the over-twos, the yearly increase was 6.6% to £103.96 a week for a part-time place.

The steepest price rises were for childcare for older children, with 15 hours a week at an after-school club costing £49.67 on average, a rise of 9%.

For a family with two children, care in term time, before and after school, costs around £4,000 a year, according to the report. It says the cost of after-school clubs has risen on average by 88% in real terms over the last 10 years.

The government plans to make childcare less expensive by relaxing the number of pre-school children that nurseries and registered childminders can oversee but the report suggests that reducing the required ratios may diminish quality and have little effect on costs.

Shukla called on the government to simplify the funding system and extend the entitlement of 15 hours of free childcare to cover all two-year-olds and then increase the number of free hours in steps, first to 20 and then 25.

Currently the entitlement is available to all three- and four-year-olds but only 40% of two-year-olds.

A government spokesman said ratio changes would offer flexibility to providers. “High quality providers will be able to expand and more childminders will enter the market – this will mean parents have more affordable childcare.”

95 Babies Could Be Saved Every Hour If Mothers Breastfed in ‘power hour’ After Birth-Save the Children

Category : Stocks

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Feb. 17, 2013) - The lives of 95 babies could be saved every hour – 830,000 a year – if new mothers around the world breastfed immediately after giving birth, Save the Children said today.

Read more: 95 Babies Could Be Saved Every Hour If Mothers Breastfed in ‘power hour’ After Birth-Save the Children

Post to Twitter