Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 338

Posts Tagged ‘workers’

Rules on the free movements of workers and services

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 30 novembre 2020

Brussels, Tuesday 1 December 2020, 09.00 – 11.00, 11.30 – 12.30, 13.45 – 15.45 József Antall building, room 6Q2, and by videoconference VotesAccess to decent and affordable housing for all. Rapporteur: Kim Van Sparrentak (Verts/ALE, NL). Adoption of draft report.The right to disconnect. Rapporteur: Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT). Adoption of draft report. Presentations and debatesImpacts of EU rules on the free movements of workers and services: intra-EU labour mobility as a tool to match labour market needs and skills. Rapporteur: Radan Kanev (PPE, BG). Consideration of draft report. 09.05 – 10.00Commission Delegated Regulation supplementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1700 of the European Parliament and of the Council by specifying the number and the title of the variables for the income and living conditions domain on health and quality of life. Presentation by the Commission. 10.40 – 11.00Child guarantee. Exchange of views with Mr Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, Scientific Advisor of the Director of EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. 13.45 – 14.40 ILO Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and minimum wages in times of COVID-19. Presentation by Patrick Belser (ILO Senior Economist and Wage Specialist). 14.40 – 15.25Improving the quality of public spending in Europe – Budgetary ‘waste rates’ in EU Member States. Presentation of an EPRS study

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EU job-search aid worth €2 million for 500 former shipbuilding workers in Spain

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 24 ottobre 2020

Spain requested support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) after 960 workers were laid off in 38 small and medium-sized companies in the shipbuilding ancillary sectors in Galicia between May 2019 and February 2020. Around 500 redundant workers are expected to participate in the support measures co-financed by the EGF.The EU’s declining market share in global ship production and increased external competition in the sector have had dire consequences on the ancillary shipbuilding industry in Galicia, according to the Commission’s proposal. This is the first application to be examined under the 2020 EU budget and the seventh in the shipbuilding sector. The EGF aid will cover 60% of the total cost, which amounts to €3.4 million. The package aims to provide the former workers with career guidance, support in their job search, opportunities to learn new skills through vocational training, and tutoring and guidance after finding another job. The report by rapporteur Valérie Hayer (RENEW, FR) recommending that Parliament approve the aid was passed by 645 votes to 33, with 9 abstentions (roll call vote results here).

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Ricerca “The Future for Workers, By Workers”

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 13 ottobre 2020

Ha analizzato le aspettative dei lavoratori sul ritorno al lavoro e ad una nuova normalità. Il Covid-19 accelera la rivoluzione delle competenze a livello globale, ma accentua le diseguaglianze di genere e quelle fra lavoratori con skill più o meno ricercate dalle aziende.In Italia: • le priorità dei lavoratori post Covid sono: continuare ad imparare (93%), non perdere il proprio lavoro (90%), prendersi cura di sé (salute e benessere, 85%), mantenere condizioni di lavoro flessibile (83%) • il 65% degli italiani è favorevole al rientro sul posto di lavoro, anche se oltre la metà dei lavoratori teme una nuova ondata del virus • il 19% dei lavoratori ha perso temporaneamente il lavoro, il 44% dei lavoratori ha visto diminuire il proprio stipendio: donne più a rischio degli uomini • oltre il 50% dei lavoratori teme di perdere il controllo sui propri dati personali

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MEPs demand unprecedented support measures for EU firms and workers

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 28 giugno 2020

To prevent massive job losses and a deep recession, EP’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee calls for radical measures to help EU firms and workers out of the crisis.Member states need to take radical measures to cushion the employment and social shock caused by the pandemic, says the resolution on the EU Employment Guidelines, drafted by José Gusmão (GUE/NGL, PT) and adopted on Wednesday by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. The text calls on the Commission to revise the Employment Guidelines to take account of the consequences of the pandemic and better respond to future crises.Measures proposed by MEPs include wage subsidies, income support, extending unemployment benefit schemes and paid sick leave as well as carers’ leave and arrangements to work from home. The fight against youth unemployment, homelessness and poverty must be prioritised through a reinforced Youth Guarantee, a strong Child Guarantee for tackling child poverty and the Housing First approach, they say.The text asks that only companies that are not registered in tax havens, that respect the applicable collective agreements and that do not pay dividends or bonuses can apply for financial assistance from the SURE mechanism for short-time work, and welcomes a proposal for a European permanent unemployment reinsurance scheme, expected towards the end of 2020. MEPs consider that the length of time that the ‘General escape clause’ will apply, which gives member states fiscal flexibility during severe economic shocks, has to “reflect the dimension and duration of the COVID-19- crisis”.To create new job opportunities, MEPs propose that member states support fair labour mobility throughout Europe and further strengthen the ERASMUS+ mobility programme. Public services should be digitalised more quickly, particularly those linked to the coordination of social security systems.The report was adopted with 46 votes in favour, 5 votes against and 3 abstentions.The full house is expected to vote during the September plenary session on the draft report adopted in committee today.

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Bold measures needed to protect cross-border and seasonal workers in EU, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 24 giugno 2020

MEPs call for urgent action to safeguard health, safety and fair working conditions of cross-border and seasonal workers in the context of COVID-19
The COVID-19-crisis has further exposed and exacerbated social dumping and the existing precariousness of the situations of many mobile workers employed in the EU’s agri-food, construction and healthcare sectors.
In a resolution adopted on Friday, Parliament urges the Commission to assess the employment, health and safety conditions of cross-border and seasonal workers, including the role of intermediary agencies and subcontracting firms, to identify shortcomings in EU and national legislation and, possibly, revise the existing EU laws. The text also calls for a swift and balanced agreement on the coordination of social security systems that is needed to combat social fraud and the abuse of mobile workers’ rights.MEPs urge the Commission to issue new, specific guidelines for cross-border and seasonal workers in the context of COVID-19, to propose long-term solutions to deal with abusive subcontracting practices and to ensure that the European Labour Authority (ELA) becomes fully operational as a matter of priority. Member states must increase the capacity of labour inspectorates and ensure quality housing, which should be decoupled from their remuneration, says the text.The resolution was adopted with 593 votes in favour, 34 against and 38 abstentions.The European Commission is expected to present guidelines to protect cross border and seasonal workers shortly.

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Protecting workers from biological agents: how to classify SARS-CoV-2

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 14 giugno 2020

Several political groups in the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) oppose the European Commission’s decision to classify SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, as a level-3 hazard, the second most dangerous category of biological agents, arguing that it provides insufficient protection to workers. They tabled an objection to the Commission’s decision insisting that SARS-CoV-2 should be classified in the highest risk group 4.
During an exchange of views on 20 May with the European Commission on the proposal to update the Biological Agents Directive to include SARS-CoV-2, EMPL MEPs stressed that all workers should be protected from SARS-CoV-2 and that classification in a particular risk group should be based on scientific criteria, not on practical considerations.
The European Commission gave its green light, on Wednesday 3 June, to classify SARS-CoV-2 as a category 3 biological agent. Parliament has the right to veto this measure, within one month after the Commission has adopted it.Classification in risk group 3 means that the biological agent “can cause severe human disease and present a serious hazard to workers; it may present a risk of spreading to the community, but there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available”. The SARS and MERS viruses are examples of risk group 3 viruses.A risk group 4 biological agent causes severe human disease and is a serious hazard to workers; it may present a high risk of spreading to the community; there is usually no effective prophylaxis or treatment available. Ebola is in risk group 4.
If the Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopts the objection in its vote on 11 June, the full House will vote during the plenary session taking place on 17-19 June. If EMPL rejects the objection, political groups can table their resolution for plenary.

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COVID-19: MEPs debate how to best protect cross-border and seasonal workers

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 28 Maggio 2020


The Employment and Social Affairs Committee is set to delve into alleged breaches of EU law on working time, health and safety of cross-border workers, on Tuesday.Following disturbing reports about the precarious situation facing potentially hundreds of thousands of cross-border and seasonal workers in the EU, MEPs will debate with Josip Aladrović, Croatian Minister of Labour and Pension Systems, Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and Jordi Curell Gotor, Interim Executive Director of the European Labour Authority how to protect the employment rights, health and safety of these critical workers during the pandemic.Workers from Romania and other Eastern European member states provide a vital workforce on farms in Germany, France and other member states and ensure food security across Europe. Other workers from e.g. Slovakia provide social and long-term care services for the elderly in Austria and other member states. The European Commission issued guidelines to ensure that mobile workers within the EU who qualify as critical workers in the fight against COVID-19 can reach their workplace. The agri-food sector is a key sector included in these guidelines, especially regarding seasonal workers.MEPs will look into their situation to examine if, as reported, there are few or no COVID-19 prevention measures in place and if their rights with respect to working time, overtime and pay are being violated, thereby infringing EU law.

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Protection of workers from biological agents: how to classify COVID-19

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 23 Maggio 2020

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee will debate with the Commission on Wednesday how to classify SARS-CoV-2, responsible for COVID-19, to protect workers’ health and safety.Parliament has the right to veto this measure, within one month after it has been adopted by the Commission, foreseen for the beginning of June.Classification in risk group 3 means that the biological agent can “cause severe human disease and present a serious hazard to workers; it may present a risk of spreading to the community, but there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available”. The SARS and MERS viruses are examples of risk group 3 viruses. Ebola is in risk group 4. EU directives protect workers against the risks of exposure to biological agents (bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms) at work. Depending on their level of danger, they are classified in risk groups on an increasing scale from 1 to 4. Risk group 1 includes the least hazardous agents, group 4 lists the most hazardous ones.
Biological agents are microorganisms that may harm workers by causing an infection, an allergic reaction or exposing them to a toxin. They are classified into four risk groups according to their level of risk of infection:
• a group 1 biological agent is unlikely to cause human disease;
• a group 2 biological agent can cause human disease and might be a hazard to workers; it is unlikely to spread to the community; there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available;
• a group 3 biological agent can cause severe human disease and present a serious hazard to workers; it may present a risk of spreading to the community, but there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available;
• a group 4 biological agent causes severe human disease and is a serious hazard to workers; it may present a high risk of spreading to the community; there is usually no effective prophylaxis or treatment available.

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UK workers set to receive a lower real salary increase in 2020

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 15 novembre 2019

UK professionals are expected to receive a 1.1 percent real salary increase in 2020, equating to approximately £334.62pa on average Next year’s forecasted real terms salary increase is £20.44 less on average than the increase Brits received in 2019 (£355.06pa) India retains top spot in the global chart for real salary increases, with a 5.4 percent rise Ukraine tops the chart for the highest real salary increase forecasted in Europe (4.1 percent) and among the highest in the world (joint 5th) Due to a higher inflation forecast, employees in the United States are predicted to receive a real terms salary increase of just 0.7 percent, 0.4 percent less than the UK According to the latest Salary Trends Report by ECA International (ECA), UK employees in the private sector are expected to see a real salary increase of 1.1 percent in 2020, the equivalent of almost £27.89 a month (£334.62 per annum) for the average worker¹ before tax. This is following a better than expected real salary increase for UK workers in 2019 (1.2 percent on average), receiving an average real salary increase of £355.06.The real salary increase is calculated based on the difference between the forecast nominal salary increase (3 percent in the UK) and the expected level of inflation. Although the forecasted nominal increase for 2020 has remained the same as last year, higher inflation forecasted for 2020 (1.9 percent) will squeeze real salary earnings to just 1.1 percent.The annual Salary Trends Report from global mobility experts ECA International, analyses current and projected salary increases for local employees in 68 countries across the world.Real increases lower than four years ago, but significantly higher than a decade ago. Despite similar salary increases workers are still not seeing real increases in the buying power of the level four years ago, but equally workers are expected to be significantly better off than ten years ago when the global recession led to decreases in real salaries.Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager at ECA International said “The real salary rises we saw in 2015 were notably large due to the very low level of inflation at the time but in 2016 the EU referendum results led to higher inflation and squeezed budgets, with things only now levelling back out to a more normal level. However, when looking more long-term, things are considerably more positive for workers in the UK compared to ten years ago when the financial crisis and global recession resulted in a decrease to real salaries in 2010 and 2011.” A significant factor on the forecast figures though, could be the uncertainty around Brexit, as well as the upcoming UK general election. (font: ECA International

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78 Percent of UK Office Workers Believe Their Jobs Will Survive Automation

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 dicembre 2018

Seventy eight percent of UK office workers are confident their jobs will survive automation, according to new independent research* undertaken for leading enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company UiPath.The research, exploring the attitudes of 1,000 office employees toward automation, revealed that nearly half (49 percent) do not see how their administrative duties can be undertaken by a software robot.“RPA is one of the most far-reaching revolutions in the UK workplace,” said Kulpreet Singh, managing director EMEA, UiPath. “Office employees may be in for a pleasant surprise as the burden of boring and routine tasks moves to being performed by software robots instead. They will need to adjust to having a greater amount of time for more valuable work.”
Despite being confident about automation, only a third of male office workers (33 percent) and 22 percent of female office workers believe the technology will increase their productivity, even though more than six-in-ten across both sexes (61 percent) spend an excess of 30 percent of their time on repetitive, routine tasks that are set to be automated. “The fourth industrial revolution will create relentless waves of change as we embrace machine learning and robotics,” said Jacqueline de Rojas, CBE, president of TechUK. “This is not going away and the only thing we can change is our response. Our job will be to figure out how we respond to these changes and to pivot our skills in an ‘evergreen’ way throughout our careers. What I love about the UiPath approach is their commitment to the democratisation of learning which will undoubtedly make the difference to our ability to lifelong learning, inclusion and our connected future.”The research found that 37 percent of respondents will devote more time to new strategic projects once they are freed from repetitive work by RPA, while 36 percent will seek to develop new skills.Almost a quarter (24 percent) will spend more time on collaborating with colleagues, and more than a fifth (22 percent) on interactions with customers.“It’s encouraging to see that when office staff understand how RPA can free them from drudgery, they already see more profitable uses for their time,” added Singh. “It is imperative that organisations prepare their employees for the automation revolution.”The research found that women and younger workers bear the brunt of administrative and repetitive tasks. Sixty four percent of female workers spend more than 30 percent of their time on administrative tasks, while half of those aged 18-24 devote more than half their time on repetitive aspects of their jobs.Less than a quarter of UK employees (24 percent) believe automation will have a bad effect on the UK economy.

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Compensation and Disability Conference

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 28 ottobre 2017

Crazy Streets of Las VegasLas Vegas December 7 at 3:00 p.m. PDT during the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference. One Call Clinical Experts Discuss Key Trends at Virginia Workers’ Compensation Conference. The workers’ compensation industry urgently needs proactive strategies to deal with two growing concerns: the aging workforce and the increased incidence of comorbidities among injured workers. These trends are dramatically impacting claims costs and outcomes, as well as complicating treatment and management of work-related injuries.To discuss the scope of these issues and the impact on workers’ compensation programs, One Call Care Management (One Call) sent two of its clinical experts to deliver presentations at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference held in Richmond, Virginia this week.Kevin Glennon, RN, vice president of clinical programs at One Call, presented, “Managing the Needs of the Aging Injured Worker,” and Eric Patten, RN, senior director of clinical services, discussed “Strategies to Manage the Pandora’s Box of Comorbid Conditions.”“Older employees are beginning to represent a larger segment of our workforce,” said Glennon. “Physiological changes occur as part of the natural aging process, but they also present safety concerns. For example, older employees may experience loss of muscle, strength and stamina. Their eyesight and hearing may decline, and their sense of balance may be compromised, making aging workers more susceptible to falls.”According to a 2012 National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) study, aging workers experience 50 percent higher medical costs and 25 percent higher indemnity costs on average than their younger counterparts. This is mainly because their injuries are often more severe in nature and require more treatment and recovery time.“Employers can implement clinical strategies and optimize safety in the workplace for aging workers to capitalize on the expertise and strengths of their senior staff, while taking their needs into consideration and preventing injuries from occurring. For example, offering frequent breaks can reduce fatigue and the risk of injury,” added Glennon.“Another key challenge is the increased incidence of comorbid conditions among injured workers,” said Patten. “A comorbidity is another condition or disease occurring at the same time as the work injury. For example, an injured worker may have sustained an ankle fracture, but the healing and recovery may be complicated by the fact that this injured worker also has diabetes.”According to a 2012 NCCI report, the number of claims with a comorbid condition nearly tripled over nine years, and on average, claims with a comorbidity experienced twice the medical costs as otherwise comparable claims.Patten explained that the two trends are related. “As workers age, there is a higher chance that they will have one or more comorbid conditions. Workers’ compensation programs must take a more holistic view of the injured worker’s health status to identify comorbidities early and develop a comprehensive approach to care.” Patten outlined several proactive strategies. Some employers have incorporated onsite health assessments and case management to identify conditions. Others have implemented wellness programs to address employee health and combat common issues, such as a sedentary lifestyle, the need for nutritional counseling and weight management.

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Protecting workers: stricter limits on cancer-causing substances

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 2 settembre 2017

europeNew EU rules to protect workers from carcinogens and mutagens in the workplace were voted in by the Employment Committee. The legislation, approved by 42 votes in favour, none against and 8 abstentions and already informally agreed with EU Ministers, sets EU-wide rules to eliminate and reduce all carcinogens and mutagens in workplaces.Employers will have to assess the risk of exposure for workers and take preventive measures. This should tackle the primary cause of work-related deaths in the EU, i.e. cancer. The aim is to help save up to 100 000 lives over the next 50 years.It includes a lower “occupational exposure limit (OEL)”, i.e. a maximum quantity of harmful substances that workers can be exposed to, for:
· chromium VI, used in textile dyes, paints and leather tanning materials and generated during the casting, welding or cutting of stainless steel
· hardwood dust, produced, for instance, by cutting or pulverising wood
· vinyl chloride monomer, mainly used to produce PVC
MEPs ensured that the Commission will have to assess the possibility of including reprotoxic substances, i.e. those having effects on sexual function and fertility, by the first quarter of 2019.New rules also establish that the national authority responsible for the health surveillance of workers can decide that health surveillance must continue after the end of exposure, for as long as needed to safeguard health.
For chromium VI, a limit value of 0,010 mg/m3 will be in place for the first 5 years after the date on which it is applicable in national law, subsequently lowered to 0,005 mg/m3 afterwards. A derogation for welding, plasma cutting or similar processes puts a limit of 0.025 mg/m3 for the first 5 years and 0,005 mg/m3 thereafter.For hard wood dust, a limit is set at 3 mg/m3 for five years after the entry into force of the directive and is thereafter lowered to 2 mg/m3. The Parliament will put the draft directive to the final vote during one of forthcoming plenaries.

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MEPs back changes to the Blue Card for highly-skilled workers to promote its use

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 16 giugno 2017

lavoratoriThe Blue Card system for highly-skilled foreign workers to the EU will be simplified and its scope widened to encourage member states to use it.Civil Liberties Committee MEPs backed on Thursday changes to the Blue Card Directive to make it more attractive. The legislation was adopted with 45 votes to 10, with 2 abstentions.Under the new rules, applicants will need to present a valid work contract or a binding job offer of minimum 9 months (instead of the current 12 months), as well as evidence of their higher qualifications or professional skills. Both the candidate and the employer would be able to file the request and the information to apply should be easily accessible.To avoid competing with the EU common system, all national schemes for the admission of third-country nationals for the purpose of highly-skilled employment will be abolished.The salary should be between 1 and 1.4 times the average gross annual salary in the country concerned, but authorities can skip this requisite for certain sectors if they agree so with the social partners, MEPs decided.Member states will be able to withdraw a “blue card” (or not renew it, or reject an application) based on substantiated security concerns. They will also be allowed to take the situation of the domestic labour market, particularly high unemployment, into account before issuing a card, but they will need to consult with social partners and notify the European Commission first.A Blue Card holder may lose it if he or she is unemployed for more than six consecutive months (except if that situation is due to illness or disability), or if their salary no longer meets the established threshold.

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Future of flexible workers and the modern organisation of labour

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 3 Maggio 2017

opportunita-lavoroIn the WRR’s publication For the Sake of Security. The future of flexible workers and the modern organisation of labour , Monique Kremer, Robert Went and André Knottnerus describe and analyse the increasing flexibility of work, how the organisation of labour is changing in various ways, what the driving forces are behind this, what the effects are, and what answers can be provided by the government and other parties involved. The Netherlands is the European leader when it comes to the proportion of self-employed workers and temporary contracts. The number of people with a temporary contract or working for their own account now amounts to a third of all workers. Flexibilisation is becoming increasingly widespread and more structural in nature. Work is also becoming more and more hybrid, with new combinations and blends of entrepreneurship, work, and consumption. People can earn money in the sharing economy, self-employed workers are sometimes also employees, and there are “intrapreneurs”, i.e. entrepreneurial employees within companies.
However, these trends do not only have positive consequences for the economy and society. Too much flexibilisation can adversely affect the earning power of the Dutch economy, if it means less training and innovation. And it can also lead to psychological uncertainty (stress, lack of recognition) and uncertainty about one’s life course. That is a problem that particularly affects young people when they want to buy a house or start a family. New and vulnerable groups are developing with a great deal of uncertainty about their income and social security situation.
A return to the labour market of the past is both impossible and undesirable. But government and businesses can adapt the amount and kind of flexibilisation to the nature of the work involved. The Dutch government can draw up legislation for that purpose and can set a good example as an employer. The social partners also have a responsibility, for example as regards modernising collective labour agreements and encouraging employer organisations by creating scope for entrepreneurship and both formal and informal learning. In addition, new forms of security can be built in to compensate for the effects of flexibilisation. Changes can be made in the existing social security system to reduce the differences between employees with a permanent position and flexible workers. At the same time, labour market developments demand a new long-term perspective as regards security.

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Economic shocks are more likely to be lethal in America

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 27 marzo 2017

the economist1AMERICAN workers without college degrees have suffered financially for decades—as has been known for decades. More recent is the discovery that their woes might be deadly. In 2015 Anne Case and Angus Deaton, two (married) scholars, reported that in the 20 years to 1998, the mortality rate of middle-aged white Americans fell by about 2% a year. But between 1999 and 2013, deaths rose. The reversal was all the more striking because, in Europe, overall middle-age mortality continued to fall at the same 2% pace. By 2013 middle-aged white Americans were dying at twice the rate of similarly aged Swedes of all races (see chart). Suicide, drug overdoses and alcohol abuse were to blame.
Ms Case and Mr Deaton have now updated their work on these so-called “deaths of despair”. The results, presented this week at the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, are no happier. White middle-age mortality continued to rise in 2014 and 2015, contributing to a fall in life expectancy among the population as a whole. The trend transcends geography. It is found in almost every state, and in both cities and rural areas. The problem seems to be getting worse over time. Deaths from drugs, suicide and alcohol have risen in every five-year cohort of whites born since the 1940s. And in each group, ageing seems to have worse effects. You might think that rising mortality is the flipside of falling incomes. Recent trends in median per-person income for households headed by white 50- to 54-year-olds mirror their mortality rate. Income rises in the 1990s and then falls in the 2000s, ending up roughly where it started. But split people out by education, and the reflection fades. The income of college graduates has followed a similar pattern (most of the surge in the value of a college education happened before 1990). But their mortality has steadily fallen. And deaths of despair are much rarer among blacks and Hispanics, whose incomes have been on similar paths.The authors suspect more amorphous, long-term forces are at work. The fundamental cause is still a familiar tale of economic malaise: trade and technological progress have snuffed out opportunities for the low-skilled, especially in manufacturing. But social changes are also in play. As economic life has become less secure, low-skilled white men have tended towards unstable cohabiting relationships rather than marriages. They have abandoned traditional communal religion in favour of churches that emphasise personal identity. And they have become more likely to stop working, or looking for work, entirely. The breakdown of family, community and clear structures of life, in favour of individual choice, has liberated many but left others who fail blaming themselves and feeling helpless and desperate.Why are whites the worst affected? The authors speculate that their misery flows from their crushed aspirations. Blacks and Hispanics face worse economic circumstances, but may have had lower expectations to begin with. Or they may have taken hope from progress against discrimination. Low-skilled whites, by contrast, may find many aspects of their lives perennially disappointing. That may push them towards depression, drugs and alcohol.(by The Economist)

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A labour shortage looms in Asia

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 febbraio 2017

labour-shortageTHE agencies are anonymous and unobtrusive amid the glamorous hustle of Shanghai, the better to stay in the shadows. They deal in an illegal but highly desirable product: people, specifically Filipina domestic workers to serve China’s growing middle class. Filipina helpers, says one agent, will follow your exact instructions, whereas locals are choosy and tend to handle only one task: if they clean, for instance, they will not look after children. Filipinas’ diligence makes them popular: the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong estimates that more than 200,000 undocumented Filipinas work as domestic helpers in China, earning 5,000 yuan ($728) per month, far more than they could make back home. As for legal troubles, the agents are reassuring: fines can be hefty but are rarely imposed. One agent admitted that a client was caught employing an illegal worker; the worker was sent home, but the client was not fined.Another Filipina no doubt took her place: the Philippines abounds with labour, and China needs domestic workers. This exemplifies two demographic trends in Asia. Poor, young South and South-East Asian countries suffer low wages and underemployment, while richer, ageing countries in the north need more people to bolster their workforces. Theoretically, this problem contains its own solution: millions of young workers should go north and east. Receiving countries would benefit from their labour, while their home countries would benefit from their remittances and eventually from the transfer of skills when the workers return, as many migrant labourers do.Practice, however, is less accommodating than theory. The Asian “model” of migration tends to be highly restrictive, dedicated to stemming immigration, rather than managing it. Entry is often severely curtailed, permanent settlement strongly discouraged and citizenship kept out of reach.Asia is home to about half of the world’s population, but is the source of only 34% of its emigrants and host to only 17% of its immigrants. About a third of Asians who have left their country have laid their hats somewhere else in Asia. But despite wide income and age gaps between one end of Asia and the other, three-quarters of intra-Asian migrants remain in their own part of the region: South Asians migrate elsewhere in South Asia, East Asians stick to East Asia, and so on.Much of this labour is irregular. Thailand, for instance, may have as many as 5m migrant workers, mainly from neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Many of them lack visas—particularly those in construction and services. Around three years ago, a rumoured crackdown on illegal labour sent around 200,000 Cambodians fleeing for the border. The resulting paralysis of the construction industry, among others, prompted Thailand to reverse course quickly and implement a brief amnesty during which workers could apply for temporary documents. Some workers do not bother with those, complaining that the process of getting them is too time-consuming and expensive. Still, millions remain willing to take the risk of working illegally or semi-legally in Thailand because wages back home are so low.China has long been able to satisfy its demand for labour by moving rural citizens to cities: every year around 150m Chinese temporarily leave the countryside to staff factories, cook in restaurants and clean homes. But with China’s population ageing, foreign workers have begun filling the gap: as many as 50,000 Vietnamese illegally cross the border into the southern province of Guangxi each spring to help harvest sugarcane. In 2015 the provincial government started a programme to bring Vietnamese workers into local factories in one city; off to a good start, it is being introduced in other parts of Guangxi.China remains a net exporter of labour, but the balance is shifting quickly. Over the next 30 years China’s working-age population will shrink by 180m. How China handles this fall will play a large role in shaping Asian migration patterns. Manufacturers can move factories to labour-rich countries, or invest in automation. Other industries lack that option: the ILO forecasts that China will need 20m more domestic workers as it ages.Impending workforce collapse is not an exclusively Chinese problem. To keep the share of its population at working age steady, East Asia would have to import 275m people between the ages of 15 and 64 by 2030. South-East Asia would have to attract 5.9m, though that number masks wide gaps: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and especially Thailand need workers, while Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines have too many. South Asia, meanwhile, could afford to lose 134m workers—India alone could send more than 80m abroad—without worsening its dependency ratio (photo: labour shortage) (by The Economist)

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Irish company blamed for firing over 60 workers after forming a union in the Philippines

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 luglio 2016

amsterdamAmsterdam. The Philippine company C & F Manufacturing, a subsidiary of the Irish C&F Group, laid-off 63 workers shortly after they officially formed a union. On May 26, 2016, the workers registered their union with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Shortly after, the company informed the same department that they are subjecting to ‘retrenchment’ or lay-off, some 98 regular workers of the company, wherein more than 63 of these workers are union officers and/or union members. In the evening of June 6, the night-shift workers learned about their mass lay-off through the posted ‘announcement’ of the management in the bulletin board. On the next day, June 7, 2016 the day-shift workers were blocked at the guard house and were no longer allowed to enter the premises of the company.
On June 9, 2016, 3 days later, the company hired 55 agency-supplied contractual workers.. The company simply replaced their former workers, some of whom had been working for twelve years, with workers on precarious work arrangements.
The Philippine company is a supplier to IT and electronics companies such as APC Schneider Electric, IBM, and EMC Corporation and C&F Group has signed the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct (EICC) and allegedly supports the ‘Ten Principles of The United Nations Global Compact in areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption’.
The actions of the company, possibly with the intention of union busting, and avoidance of employer obligations, is a violation of worker and trade union rights. Also, there are other complaints from the workers, which include ‘forced’ work on Sunday and public holidays, and excessively long working hours.47 CSOs and unions call on C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. and the C&F Group to end its harmful practices and to respect labour rights. Read the full press statement here. (photo amsterdam)

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MERICS China Flash: Strikes cause continuous tensions in China

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 28 aprile 2016

labour protests in ChinaWorkers’ movements and trade unions all over the world will celebrate International Labour Day on 1 May. In China, houses are decorated with flowers and slogans are put up on the occasion of “Laodong Jie”. But this year, there is not much reason to celebrate: the country’s difficult economic situation is having a knock-on effect on industrial labourers. Growing dissatisfaction over unpaid wages and poor working conditions were the cause of a growing number of strikes, even though the Party and state have tried hard to curb such unrest.We discussed these tensions with Simon Lang, research associate at MERICS:
So far this year, about a thousand strikes have been recorded in China, many of which took place spontaneously. What’s the reason for all this unrest?
It’s mainly workers from private construction firms and manufacturing companies who are on strike. The slower economic growth and falling exports have led to a large number of lay-offs, and in other cases wages have not been paid regularly. Many workers are desperate because they haven’t received wages for months and do not know how to support their families. In such a difficult situation, they are willing to accept reprisals from their employer or even the state.
How exactly do these work stoppages take place? How do strikers organise?
Discontented employees and redundant workers often start protesting spontaneously. Younger employees know more about their rights today than their parents did at their age. They have higher expectations and more self-confidence. It’s become much easier to co-ordinate protests now that smartphones are widely available. In most cases, a protest starts off with a small group of disgruntled workers. It’s hard to organise properly, though, as trying to co-ordinate with a large number of people is a risky undertaking in China. In fact, a lot of protests lead to nowhere as none of the initiators are prepared to take up negotiations with the management. There aren’t any bodies that represent workers’ rights apart from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, and most of all, this organisation wants to maintain social harmony – just like the Chinese leadership.
How has the Chinese government responded to such protests?
Local governments have taken all kinds of steps to curb social unrest as they’re afraid of strikes spreading. They employ a kind of carrot-and-stick approach: local officials put both employers and employees under pressure to get them to look for a compromise together. At the same time, though, the state is not afraid of sending the police in against strikers to get them off the road and keep them from protesting.
In contrast to this tactic, company executives have tried to divide striking workers by making attractive financial offers to individual leaders, luring them back to work. State-owned enterprises, on the other hand, try to prevent strikes from occurring by offering workers financial compensation, early retirement and part-time employment in order to reduce the social impact of lay-offs. (photo: labour prostests in China)

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Private Equity institutional buyouts see wages drop by £10,000 four years later

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 3 dicembre 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWorkers will not only be worse off when their firm is taken over by private equity through an institutional buyout (IBO), but their company’s performance will fall behind its rivals.New research has discovered that IBOs – defined as a highly leveraged transaction where one or more institutional investors act together to initiate a buyout deal – result in staff losses and a decrease in overall productivity.Geoffrey Wood, Professor of International Business at Warwick Business School, said: “Our findings suggest IBOs and their impact on managerial practices do not appear to be an effective mechanism for turning round failing firms.“I would argue, far from the notion they revitalise the acquired organisation and unlock dormant capabilities and value, our research suggests more often than not the opposite occurs.“Our core finding shows a significant loss in employment in firms subject to an IBO immediately following the takeover. What’s more, wages tend to fall well below the market rate.“Perhaps this could be partly excused from a business perspective if there was an increase in productivity and profitability, but we found even in that regard there was no evidence to suggest such improvements subsequent to the takeover.”In the paper The employment consequences of private equity acquisitions: The case of institutional buy outs Professor Wood, Marc Goergen, of Cardiff Business School, and Noel O’Sullivan, of Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics, examined changes to employee numbers, employee productivity and employee remuneration as well as profitability over an 11-year window for 106 IBOs.They looked at IBOs undertaken in the UK between 1997 and 2006, investigating the monitored firms’ performance and employment and wage figures six years before takeover through to four years afterwards. They compared these organisations, against a group of firms with similar performance and another group from the same industry.The IBO companies’ median employment growth was 11 per cent five years before acquisition, falling down to 4.8 per cent the year after the deal.Figures on salary suggest a similar trend with companies seeing a salary reduction from a mean of £29,460 before the IBO to £28,520 following it. By contrast in that same period industry and sized matched companies saw the mean salary surge from £30,170 to £38,430 while performance matched companies saw their mean salary rise from £30,890 to £33,810. Four years after the IBO the mean salary was at £34,010, while in the control firms it was at £44,210 and £42,860 respectively, suggesting the mean workers’ salary at the IBO companies was as much as £10,000 less.The research also highlighted productivity, measured in the research by calculating real turnover over employees, was lower for the IBO firms than both industry and size-matched companies and performance-matched companies.Professor Wood commented: “Despite – or because of – pay cuts and job losses, productivity in the sample firms remained significantly lower than in the control firms.“This suggests that any supposed disciplinary benefits from job cuts, either in terms of ejecting the lowest strata of performers or incentivising surviving staff, have not resulted in material gains.“Indeed, the productivity and profitability of the IBO firms remain lower than for the control firms during the four-year period following the takeover, suggesting that a climate of insecurity in tenure and reward reduces employee productivity and firm profitability.”
Report co-author, Professor Goergen, Professor of Finance at Cardiff Business School, argues: “This new study does indeed uncover several negative effects on employment from private equity acquisitions. It is important to note that this is for a particular type of private equity acquisition, ie so called institutional buy-outs (IBOs). While we can’t deny the research revealed a post-IBO drop in employment and wages, the study doesn’t imply that all private equity acquisitions are bad. In truth, the debate on the effects of private equity acquisitions going forward needs to be much more nuanced, with a view to distinguishing between the types of private equity acquisition and the positive and negative impacts they generate.”

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Non-EU skilled workers: common rules to ease intra-corporate transfers

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 15 marzo 2014

commissione europeaNon-EU skilled employees working for multinational companies should be easier transferred from a branch outside the EU to a division or subsidiary within the EU, under a draft law backed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Monday. The new rules would make it easier to move transferred workers between EU Member States and entitle their relatives to work in the host country, too. The new EU directive would introduce a common set of rules to make it easier for companies outside Europe to send key staff to their branches within the EU (so-called “intra-corporate” transfers). It would be addressed to non-EU managers, specialists and trainee employees who live outside the EU and possess knowledge specific to the company. “With this text, Parliament is giving a clear answer to the need to boost legal migration linked to the European labour market needs. This constitutes an opportunity for growth through high-skilled workers’ competences and talents. The intra-European mobility scheme is an innovative tool, not linked to Schengen, laying down clear rules and faster procedures for near 15,000 non-EU nationals that are transferred to the EU every year. Managers, specialists and trainee employees, as well as their family members, will be finally protected under a balanced legislative framework”, said rapporteur Salvatore Iacolino (EPP, IT) after the committee vote.
“Despite this, the European Parliament’s Employment Committee did not support a compromise text which I trust it could be adopted in plenary in April”, he added.EU countries would have to accept or reject a transfer application as soon as possible and, at the latest, within 90 days after the complete application was lodged and they would retain the right to decide on the number of third-country nationals admitted to their territory.Successful applicants would obtain a combined residence and work permit in a Member State. They would also benefit from rights comparable to those of nationals of the host EU country regarding remuneration, freedom of affiliation to a trade union, recognition of diplomas, some branches of social security (unless the laws of the country of origin apply as established by a bilateral agreement with the host Member State) and access to public goods and services, except housing. National governments may decide not to grant family benefits to those employees staying less than 9 months in the EU.Working conditions would be comparable to those of posted workers, the agreed text says.
Under the text resulting from the negotiations, the permit would be valid for a maximum of 3 years in the case of managers and specialists and 1 year for trainee employees.

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