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

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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...

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

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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...

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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...

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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.

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Olive Unveils New Line of Amplified HD Music Systems and Smart Music OS

Category : Stocks

Powered by New Music OS, HD Amplifiers and Wireless Interface, New Olive Systems Unite Digital Music Libraries and Services Into One Simple Touch-Screen Interface

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Olive Unveils New Line of Amplified HD Music Systems and Smart Music OS

Category : Stocks, World News

Powered by New Music OS, HD Amplifiers and Wireless Interface, New Olive Systems Unite Digital Music Libraries and Services Into One Simple Touch-Screen Interface

See the original post: Olive Unveils New Line of Amplified HD Music Systems and Smart Music OS

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Olive Unveils New Line of Amplified HD Music Systems and Smart Music OS

Category : Stocks, World News

Powered by New Music OS, HD Amplifiers and Wireless Interface, New Olive Systems Unite Digital Music Libraries and Services Into One Simple Touch-Screen Interface

Read the original post: Olive Unveils New Line of Amplified HD Music Systems and Smart Music OS

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India’s Singh, Congress Party Unite Behind Economy Overhaul Plan – Bloomberg

Category : Stocks

The Hindu
India's Singh, Congress Party Unite Behind Economy Overhaul Plan
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress party's top leadership used a mass rally in the capital to unite behind steps to further open the economy to foreign investment ahead of a crucial parliamentary session. “We have to embrace change,”
Rahul Gandhi is the political insider and outsider: analystsHindustan Times
In Fractious Political Times, a Scion of India's Dynasty Stays QuietNew York Times
Rahul plays 'outsider' to shed UPA baggageTimes of India
Wall Street Journal (India) (blog)

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Manganese Bronze makes redundancies at Coventry office and dealerships

Category : Business

Unite union says black-cab maker is being ‘left to the vultures’

More than 150 workers at collapsed black-cab maker Manganese Bronze were made redundant yesterday. The job losses – 99 of the 176 based at the Manganese head office in Coventry, and 57 of 98 employees at dealerships – came 24 hours after the firm had to call in administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers after failing to gain new funding.

Trade union Unite expressed “outrage” at the redundancies and called on the government to step in to save the company. National officer Roger Maddison said: “Only last night PwC was telling us there were significant interested parties [that might buy the business]. Now the administrators are ruthlessly sacking over 150 highly skilled workers.

“The black cabs are world-famous and we believe this company has a future. How can PwC treat this company as a going concern with virtually no staff? The black cab is part of Britain’s car manufacturing heritage. The government must now be on standby to save this historic company from being left to the vultures.”

Manganese was hit by a number of problems, including a black hole in its accounts and, most recently, a major vehicle recall after a steering fault became apparent.

Matthew Hammond, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: “Regretfully, without financial support to overcome the group’s operational issues, we have had to make staff redundancies. While the steering box recall remains, there is a voluntary suspension on vehicle sales, and we are now concentrating all resources on testing the solution to the steering fault. We have retained sufficient numbers of staff across the dealership, head office and production network to address the operational, technical and financial circumstances that the business faces.”

Hyatt Hurts: hotel workers organise global boycott for a fair deal | Naomi Wolf

Category : Business

In a striking case of international solidarity, housekeeping staff worldwide are protesting their exploitation by the hotel giant

As I walked out of a noticeably dirty Hyatt hotel while on a book tour in San Francisco last week, I was startled by a major labor event with a well-executed picket line and loud, disciplined chanting. It became clear that the housekeeping staff and their union were asking customers to boycott Hyatt over a dispute of which I had been unaware.

I received a tip to the story from Julia Wong of Unite Here, a coalition of union members in the hospitality industry, which asserts that Hyatt commonly exploits its workers. At first, housekeepers were calling for boycotts of individual Hyatt properties. But when Hyatt refused to address some of the concerns raised – such as health and safety, when the hotel chain led the opposition to a California bill that would have required hotels to use fitted sheets in order to ease the physical burden on cleaners – the effort ramped up to a global boycott.

In July 2012, Unite Here and other groups, including the National Football Players’ Association – whose representatives said that many players had been raised by hardworking women like the housekeepers who had joined the campaign – launched the escalated boycott, Hyatt Hurts. The coalition already includes some serious players in the feminist and leftwing activist worlds like the National Organization of Women (NOW), and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Hyatt has been awarded the dubious title of “the Worst Hospitality Employer in America” by the Hyatt Hurts website. Rather movingly, as the movement spread, workers in Hyatts in India, the UK, Israel and the Phillipines went on strike. This is a historic effort, because as globalization extends employers’ power globally, it also strengthens the global counter-protest, or global boycott, by uniting workers across the world to organize successfully from the ground upwards.

In interviews with the housekeepers, the issue of these women often being treated as if they are “invisible” came up again and again, as did the quantity of extremely hard work, sometimes injurious, that is expected of the mostly female, and mostly non-white, workers. As they pointed out, hotel guests rarely think about this, simply expecting vacuumed floors and dusted surfaces. But cleaning women and men typically perform heavy labor very quickly for a big chain such as Hyatt. In May, the federal authority, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), actually sent a letter to Hyatt management, warning executives about the health risks of driving their cleaning people so ruthlessly (a letter that is considered a first in the industry).

The Hyatt staff whom I interviewed describe the rapid pace of cleaning room after room, including the hard physical work like scrubbing bathrooms on one’s hands and knees and lifting heavy mattresses. These and other strenuous moves increase the likelihood of back and knee injuries given the expected high room turnover.

Jacob Tomsky, a desk clerk for a luxury hotel who has written a tell-all account of working in the hospitality industry, Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles and So-Called Hospitality, has great sympathy for housekeepers’ work conditions:

“There is nothing easy about housekeeping. There is nothing easy about dealing with other people’s filth and having to get on your knees to do it. There is nothing easy about scouring and spraying and polishing and getting on all fours to make sure there isn’t a porno magazine under the bed skirt … There is nothing easy about being sexually harassed by guests. There is nothing easy about scrubbing a toilet on Christmas morning, believe me.”

When I contacted Hyatt about Unite Here’s claims on health and safety, Doug Patrick, Hyatt’s senior VP of human resources, responded:

“Hyatt provides industry-leading wage and benefits packages, maintains an outstanding workplace safety record, and is a recognized leader in promoting a diverse workforce … It is because of our commitment to our associates that average tenure of our housekeepers at our North American properties is more than 12 years, with approximately half of our nearly 40,000 associates having worked with us for more than 10 years.

“Housekeeping can be a physical and difficult job. Contrary to Unite Here’s assertions, our associates have the tools, resources and training they need to do great work.”

Patrick also said that Hyatt’s workplace safety record “has been validated” by the OSHA, and counter-claimed that OSHA investigations had been instigated by Unite Here “as part of its ongoing campaign to pressure Hyatt to impose union membership on employees”.

A second issue raised by Hyatt Hurts is that Hyatt has led the industry in union-busting and exploitative temp-work outsourcing. A federal agency has issued a complaint against two Hyatts in San Francisco for violating the law by implementing “E-Verify” – a practice that immigrant rights advocates say is riddled with errors and can be used by employers to intimidate immigrant workers.

On the outsourcing charge, Hyatt’s Doug Patrick stated:

“More than nine out of ten workers in US Hyatt hotels are Hyatt employees. On an as-needed basis, and like virtually all hotel management companies, Hyatt uses staffing companies to supplement certain functions at our hotels so we can respond effectively to fluctuations in business levels and can operate efficiently.”

In San Francisco, I was appalled at the response a representative for Hyatt’s management when I asked her to explain Hyatt’s position on the striking workers.

“Those people don’t even work here,” she said through clenched lips. Which misses the point: of course, they don’t work there – they are union brothers and sisters of those who do work there. That is what a union does, that is how it works: solidarity.

What will be the outcome of the global boycott? Can these workers win?

The odds are daunting: housekeeper staff are at the very bottom of the social hierarchy in the hospitality industry – the hidden hands that make travel comfortable and clean. They lack money, representation and clout. And as Hyatt continues to contract out temp work systematically, the chain is probably betting that even more desperate workers will quietly take their places.

But what was obvious from talking to the workers outside the Hyatt Embarcadero – obvious in a union-busting age during a presidential election where one candidate is committed to gutting labor – is the conviction that it is “the union makes [them] strong”. Thousands of “invisible” women and men uniting around the world may be able to do what one woman or man kneeling alone, scrubbing a bathroom floor can never accomplish.

I, for one, was persuaded that I no longer wished to spend another night, or one more tourism dollar, in a Hyatt hotel until a group like Unite Here can give the chain a clean bill of health.

EE rebranding is a missed call

Category : Business

EE looks more like a dull-but-worthy European quango than a consumer brand – why don’t they just unite under the Orange banner?

Eek, they’re not really going to call themselves EE are they? Well, it’s an improvement on the cumbersome Everything Everywhere; and maybe these things don’t raise an eyebrow in telecoms territory also occupied by 02 and Three. Even so, EE looks more like a dull-but-worthy European quango than a consumer brand.

The odd part is that the company also operates one of the great brands born in the past couple of decades. Why don’t they just unite under the Orange banner? It might offend the T-Mobile end of the joint venture. But, in the age of Apple, fruit is the way to go.

Public-sector unions plan spring strikes

Category : Business

Unison and GMB announce closer co-operation on industrial action as the two unions move towards a merger

The government faces a further outbreak of co-ordinated public sector strikes next spring after two of the UK’s largest trade unions, Unison and the GMB, said they would join forces to confront ministers over pay on behalf of nearly 1.5 million local government and health employees.

The two unions said they would co-operate on seeking an end to a multi-year pay freeze as part of an alliance that could lead to a merger, creating a union that would dwarf Unite, which has just under 2 million members. Speaking on the opening day of the annual TUC conference in Brighton, Dave Prentis, Unison’s general secretary, said: “This is more than rhetoric; this is what we are planning as we move into the negotiating season.” Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said: “People have not had pay rises for years and they are getting sick of being treated like a political football.”

At the TUC, various industrial tactics were discussed after last year’s broad front on pensions, raising the possibility of joint strike action by the largest teachers’ and civil servants’ unions this autumn and even the consideration of a general strike.

The bulk of Unison and GMB’s combined public sector memberships are in health and local government, but also include the Ministry of Defence, prisons and civil service. Both general secretaries stopped short of setting a date or terms of a merger, but made clear that both unions are moving towards ever closer co-operation.

“We are looking for a better way to merge and we have it,” said Prentis, adding that rushed union mergers have a chequered history. Kenny also declined to put a timeframe on a full merger, saying that he preferred to describe the current arrangement as “living in sin”.

The Unison and GMB stance on pay echoes comments made last week by Len McCluskey, the leader of Unite, who said he would back a TUC motion calling for co-ordinated strikes over pay. McCluskey said public sector employees have already endured a three-year pay freeze and faced another two years of restraint after George Osborne capped pay increases in 2013-14 and 2014-15 at 1%, effectively tying the hands of local government employers and the NHS pay review body.

The largest civil service union, the Public and Commercial Services union, countered the Unison and GMB approach with a call for strikes as soon as possible after a TUC-organised protest march in central London on 20 October. Mark Serwotka, the union’s general secretary and one of the most vocal proponents of industrial action against the coalition, said: “We cannot wait for a date in the future. We have to react with a bit more urgency.”

The PCS, whose members include immigration officers and employees at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, said it would join any industrial action called by the NUT and NASUWT teachers’ unions which, between them, represent more than 600,000 teachers and are due to make a joint statement on Monday on action that might include strikes.

TUC delegates are also expected to vote on a motion to explore the “practicalities” of holding the first general strike since 1926. The GMB and Unison are supporting the motion. Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT rail union, said: “The only way to get this government to take us seriously is by taking general action in the form of a general strike.”

Council pension changes approved

Category : Business

Changes to the local government pension scheme have been approved by members of the Unison and Unite unions.

Visit link: Council pension changes approved

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