Labor & Economic News Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Minnesota holds the line on poverty
Minnesota appears to have bucked the national trend of increasing poverty rates, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Tuesday. But even holding the status quo still was disturbing news to officials at Twin Cities social service agencies who attest to a surge in people seeking their help.


Premiums up less sharply at user-driven health plans, survey says
In Business
Premiums for health insurance plans that put more care decisions in the hands of consumers rose at a considerably slower rate last year than for traditional plans, according to a national survey released Tuesday.


Mechanics' rally draws supporters
In Business
Northwest Airlines striker Scott Palmer appreciated the show of union solidarity by University of Minnesota clerical workers Tuesday at a rally that attracted about 100 people to picket the Radisson Hotel Metrodome, where replacement airline mechanics are known to be living.


Floods disrupt coffee stocks
WASHINGTON — When Hurricane Katrina ripped through the New Orleans area, it tore through one of the biggest waterfront warehousing areas in the United States, disrupting the delivery and importation of an American staple — coffee.


Rally turns to confrontation
Striking Northwest Airlines mechanics vented their fury at replacement workers during a rally in front of a Minneapolis hotel on Tuesday, chanting "scabs go home!" and yelling obscenities at two suspected replacements who were eating nachos outside the hotel restaurant.


Minnesota's large firms offer better benefits
Manufacturing firms and financial institutions are among the most likely in Minnesota to offer health insurance and other benefits to employees, but small firms of all types in the state continue to struggle to provide those same perks.


Airline presents 'wish list' of cuts to pilots union
With the backdrop of record high oil prices, Northwest Airlines is urging its pilots to return to the negotiating table to discuss a new round of cuts, including reductions in wages, benefits and changes in work rules that could eliminate about 1,100 jobs.


Airline terminates strikers' insurance
ROMULUS -- Striking Northwest Airlines' mechanics and aircraft cleaners entering the 11th day of picketing face a one-two punch this week with the carrier canceling their medical insurance and issuing their last paycheck -- half the normal amount.


Contract deadline nears for Blues, union
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and four United Auto Worker locals have until 12:01 a.m. on Thursday to craft a contract for 3,000 employees of the state's largest insurer.


Union vote scuttled impending deal to sell Farmer Jack
A deal to sell up to 71 Farmer Jack stores in southeast Michigan and preserve thousands of jobs was close at hand until union-represented grocery workers rejected an amended contract this week that would have cut their wages by 10 percent, a lawyer for the union said Tuesday night.


Economy Grows at Solid Pace in 2Q
By By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer
The economy grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, slightly less than initially estimated but still a solid performance, especially given galloping energy prices. The new reading for the gross domestic product (GDP) for the April-to-...


White House to Release Oil From Reserves
By EILEEN PUTMAN, Associated Press Writer
The Bush administration will release oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners affected by Hurricane Katrina, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Wednesday. The move, which was expected later in the day, is designed to give refineries a...


Income Stagnated and Poverty Rose in 2004, Census Figures Show

New York Times
This is the first time on record that household income has failed to increase for five straight years.


Europe Leaves Trade Talks in China; U.S. Arrives
By THOMAS FULLER and CHRIS BUCKLEY International Herald Tribune
The United States pressed Beijing to reduce the flow of cheap textiles while Europe sought to pick up the pieces of its failed quota deal.


Chinese Apparel Makers Increasingly Seek the Creative Work
For garment makers in the U.S. and Europe, the next shake-up is likely to come not from China's semiskilled seamstresses, but from its ambitious would-be designers.


No Quick Fix for Gulf Oil Operations
New York Times
After Hurricane Katrina's passage, gasoline futures jumped on concerns it would take months to restore production levels.


Airlines cringe as jet-fuel prices soar 22% in just 2 days
USA TODAY Dan Reed The USA's already staggering airlines were dealt a crushing double blow by Hurricane Katrina, as jet-fuel prices soared 22% in two days. The killer storm also closed off airlines' avenue to bargain jet fuel.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Macao's jobless rate drops to 4.2 pct
Macao has seen a 4.2-percent unemployment rate between May and July, a year-on-year drop of 0.7 percent, according to official statistics issued on Monday.


Japan's Household Spending Falls for Third Month, Unemployment Rate Rises
30 (Bloomberg) -- Japan's household spending unexpectedly fell for a third month in July as individuals cut expenditure on transportation and housing, suggesting consumer demand may not lead growth in the world's second-biggest economy.


Japan's jobless rate rises but recovery seen on track
By Kyoko Hasegawa /AFP Japan's unemployment rate rose for the first time for five months in July while household spending fell, but analysts said the outlook for the labour market and the economy overall remained positive.


San Francisco airport to drop private screeners
But San Francisco says it will drop its screening company in May because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would not protect it from lawsuits that might arise from a terrorist incident


United looks to China for repairs
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - United Airlines' heavy maintenance of its entire fleet of Boeing 777s will be handled by a Chinese firm for the next five years, an industry trade publication reported Tuesday.


Report: Alitalia Ponders More Layoffs
Struggling Italian airline Alitalia might be forced to lay off an extra 2,000 people as part of its turnaround plan because of soaring oil prices, Italy's top financial daily reported Tuesday.


No abrupt changes for yuan, China says
Statement seeks to halt speculation about revaluation before talksSHANGHAI, China - The central bank does not plan more abrupt changes in the yuan's value, a senior People's Bank of China official said, squelching speculation over further currency revaluations ahead of a meeting of top international finance officials later this week in China.


Poverty rate up to 12.7% of population
Fourth straight annual increase in '04 comes despite strong U.S. economic growth; Health insurance, median household income data unchangedWASHINGTON -- The nation's poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year, the fourth consecutive annual increase, the Census Bureau said today.


EU trade chief warns of economic 'pain' if Chinese textiles not allowed into Europe (Canadian Press)
Canadian Press - BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - The European Union's trade chief said Tuesday that shoppers were likely to face higher clothing prices if European governments failed to release Chinese textile shipments that have been blocked in a quota dispute.


G.M. Sold Lots of Cars and Lost $1,227 Each
DETROIT, Aug. 29 (Reuters) - General Motors lost an average of $1,227 for each vehicle in the first half of the year in North America, while its crosstown rival, the Ford Motor Company, lost $139, according to new research from Harbour Consulting.


Head of Mechanics' Union Reassures Airline Strikers
New York Times
The national director of the mechanics' union at Northwest Airlines rallied his striking troops on Monday, with no end in sight to a 10-day walkout.


Another Storm Casualty: Oil Prices
New York Times
The region that produces a major portion of the nation's oil and natural gas was largely shut down by Hurricane Katrina, further tightening strained energy markets.


Storm worsens gas problems ( - Hurricane Katrina slammed into wallets across the country Monday as the storm closed nearly all operations in the energy-rich Gulf of Mexico. That drove up the wholesale price of gasoline and kicked up retail gas prices as much as 50 cents a gallon in areas hit by Katrina.


U. S. Government Reports Steep Factory Order Dip (AP)
AP - Orders to U.S. factories fell in July by the largest amount in 15 months, reflecting a big cutback in demand for commercial aircraft, the government reported Tuesday.


Labor Warns of Possible Boeing Strike
By By TIM KLASS, Associated Press Writer
Days before a contract between Boeing Co. and the Machinists union is to expire, labor leaders said the two sides remain far apart and warned of a possible strike. Seattle-based Machinists Lodge 751 on Monday countered the aerospace company's latest...


After the tempest / Experts assess Katrina's effect on economy
By Carolyn Said
Even though Hurricane Katrina's rampage across Louisiana and the other Gulf Coast states on Monday left a broad swath of destruction, its damage to the U.S. economy is likely to be slight -- unless it turns out that the tempest seriously harmed the...


Consumer Confidence Rises Unexpectedly
By By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Business Writer
Consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in August even as consumers were paying prices for gasoline that climbed toward $3 a gallon in many parts of the country. The Conference Board said Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index, compiled from a survey of...


Monday, August 29, 2005

Bumps along the way for NWA
A week after the two sides couldn't hammer out an agreement to avoid a strike, Northwest Airlines and its mechanics union on Friday continued to joust over how the carrier is coping as a replacement work force tackles its aircraft maintenance.


What other media say about the strike
DEARBORN, Mich. — Every morning, afternoon and evening for the last several days, groups of airline mechanics, accompanied by security guards, stride out of the Hyatt Regency hotel. They board a pair of yellow school buses, the windows taped over with white paper to hide who is inside.


No new talks in Northwest labor dispute
No new talks in Northwest labor dispute Striking Northwest Airlines mechanics spent their ninth day on the picket line Sunday with no sign of an agreement on the horizon.


Striking union finds support at rally
In a show of support, a long line of Democratic politicians and community members told striking Northwest mechanics Saturday to hold strong against a war being waged on labor by corporations across the nation.


NWA strike hits home
When mechanic Dave Sullivan drops his wife Theann off at work, she crosses his union's picket line. She doesn't want to, but as an NWA flight attendant, she has to.


2 NWA unions watch, wait
One union has been a vocal critic of Northwest Airlines' ability to fly through a strike by its mechanics, even questioning whether its planes are safe.


Flight attendants say they're the next target
In Metro/Region
As Hurricane Katrina bears down on the Gulf Coast, Northwest Airlines flight attendants are bracing for a storm of their own.


Airline may be winning spin battle
In Business
Northwest Airlines has not been upfront about the hassles its passengers are facing because of the mechanics' strike.


For union, deal was too costly to accept
In Business
The deal that Northwest Airlines mechanics left on the bargaining table Friday would have paid mechanics about $56,500 a year, but union leaders chose to strike because they thought 25 percent pay cuts -- coupled with huge layoffs -- were too great a burden for their members to bear.


Pilots brace for 2nd round of bargaining
In Business
Even as Northwest Airlines mechanics walk their picket lines, the head of the pilots union has told the Star Tribune that his members are gearing up for a second round of bargaining in which management will demand more than $300 million in concessions.


Operations stabilizing, Northwest says
In Business
Northwest Airlines told reporters Friday that it had no maintenance-related flight cancellations through 2 p.m., an accomplishment it trumpeted as one sign of its progress at the end of the first week of the mechanics strike.


Pilots say sympathy strike by them would drive Northwest to bankruptcy
In Business
Northwest Airlines pilots waged a two-week strike against the carrier in 1998, but a week ago they decided not to engage in a sympathy strike on behalf of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA).


Turning point for labor lurks in NWA tactic
In Business
One week into a strike that could have crippled its operations, Northwest Airlines is flying without widespread disruptions largely for one reason, labor and industry analysts say: It took the extraordinary gamble of relying on an army of replacement workers the moment picketing began.


Mechanics to picket hotel housing replacement workers
In Business
Northwest Airlines mechanics have been picketing at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for 10 days, but they'll broaden their public protest on Tuesday to a hotel housing replacement workers.


Delta pilots union selects new executive committee chairman
ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines Inc.'s pilots union elected a new chairman for its executive committee Friday, changing leaders amid worries the nation's third-largest carrier may file for bankruptcy protection.


Steel labor figuring out its role within globalization
CLEVELAND -- When steelmaking was king in this city and others across the nation, labor unions were as strong as the metal their members made.


Breakaway union leaders outline strategy to revive organized labor
WASHINGTON -- Unions that broke away from the AFL-CIO hope to rebuild the tattered labor movement by targeting workers in growing industries such as health care, waste management and security.


Passengers say flight experiences match what Northwest Airlines reports
MINNEAPOLIS -- While striking mechanics have accused Northwest Airlines of misleading the public about flight delays, interviews with more than a dozen passengers flying out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport showed the airline's information matches passengers' experiences.


Northwest strike raises issue: Can any worker be replaced?
When Northwest Airlines Corp. replaced its striking mechanics this past week, the move drew wide attention as a potential watershed moment: Could an employer replace scores of its highly skilled workers wholesale?


UAW leader blown away by hybrid
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger has a well-cultivated reputation as a no-frills, uncomplicated guy. So a gaggle of automotive reporters were a little surprised Friday during a UAW media breakfast when Gettelfinger revealed that he drives a Ford Escape hybrid.


Farmer Jack union to vote on wage cuts
Farmer Jack employees across Metro Detroit will vote on a new labor contract today and Monday that calls for wage cuts and other concessions as negotiations continue between the grocery chain and possible buyers.


Northwest to seek new concessions from pilots, union says
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Union pilots at Northwest Airlines Corp. are getting ready for a second round of bargaining and expect management to demand $322 million in new concessions, a union official says.


The battle between Northwest Airlines and striking mechanics represents a major test for the US labor movement

The battle between Northwest Airlines and striking mechanics represents a major test for the US labor movement, the ailing airline industry and companies facing competitive pressures, analysts say.


Northwest Air Walkout Offers a Year to Survive
29 (Bloomberg) -- The nine-day strike at Northwest Airlines Corp., a company at the brink of bankruptcy, hardly would seem to warrant optimism.


TSA supports unionizing airport screeners-well, some of them
While most of the Bush administration has been fighting against increased unionization of security-related positions since 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration is headed the other way in a small case with national implications.


Northwest Airlines Strikers Showing Signs of Dissent
DETROIT, Aug. 28 - Ten days into a strike against Northwest Airlines, signs of dissent are beginning to bubble up among mechanics' union members on picket lines at airports around the country.


Early morning deal struck in Belgium airport dispute
29 August 2005 BRUSSELS - Baggage handlers and maintenance workers at Zaventem Airport were on Monday reported to have reached an agreement to call off strike action.


British Economy Grows at Faster Rate in 2Q (AP)
AP - Britain's economy expanded 0.5 percent in the second quarter, a faster clip than initially estimated even though consumer spending rose at its slowest pace in a decade, a government report showed Friday.


Greenspan warns on dangers in US housing market (
Alan Greenspan sounded his clearest warning yet on the dangers of an over-heated US housing market, raising the prospect of falling prices when the boom comes to an end and arguing that it was hard to predict the impact on consumer spending.


Greenspan reluctant to create policy straitjacket (
Alan Greenspan declined to use the Federal Reserve's weekend conference to try to set his approach to monetary policy in stone, and instead said that, while he had his own views on inflation targets and dealing with asset price bubbles, participants on all sides of the debate should keep an open mind.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Morristown furniture maker to lay off 200 employees
MORRISTOWN, Tenn. - A furniture manufacturer has decided to lay off 200 employees because the work is being outsourced to China.


Labour market still strong
The Australian labour market is still in a buoyant condition with both supply and demand continuing to remain steady, according to a newly-produced private index.


Unemployment in New Zealand expected to fall to 3.5 per cent
There are signs the deep business gloom about the economy is lifting slightly, despite the labour shortage, and unemployment could fall back to a low of just 3.5 per cent.


Dying to take your job
SAN DIEGO, Calif. Salud Zamudio-Rodriguez came to the United States from Mexico nearly 25 years ago to do as President Bush likes to say 'jobs that Americans won't do.'


Labor shortage in Sri Lanka hampers paddy harvest
The farmers fear that monsoon rain expected during the end of August would destroy their crops if not harvested in time, sources said.


Wal-Mart's New Workforce Plans Cut Pay, Benefits
Aug 10 - The world's largest retailer has instituted a new computerized plan for matching customer traffic with employee schedules, forcing many workers to lose pay and benefits as their hours fall below the full time level.


South Africa: Job Cuts in Power Sector Shake-Up Shock Unions
LABOUR unions in the electricity industry have expressed concern about possible job losses during the merger of the power distribution business units of Eskom and those of municipalities.


Woman lagging in workplace
The number of black people in the management and professional categories in South Africa increased six-fold, during the period between 1991 and 2001.


The Workplace: It's August; guess where everybody is
PARIS The Hotel Louis II is an elegant three-star in the tourist-filled Odeon district of Paris.
And while the tourism business is generally brisk around the city, the management at the Louis II has posted this sign on its shuttered facade: "Closed for Summer Holidays


E Asian economic growth to slow down to 6.8%: ADB
MANILA, AUG 9: Economic growth in East Asia will remain robust but will slow down to 6.8 per cent in 2005 due to a less favourable external environment, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecast on Tuesday.


Indian GDP Overtakes Korea's
India overtook Korea in terms of GDP last year, the National Statistical Office said Wednesday. Korea still ranked third in Internet users per 100 people but was shunted to fourth place in terms of electronic goods production by China.


Bank of England Predicts U.K. Economic Growth Will Accelerate by 2007
(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England said economic growth in the U.K., Europe's second-biggest economy, will accelerate to above 3 percent within two years, suggesting interest rates won't be reduced again this year.


Consumer confidence hits 6-month high in Australia
SYDNEY Australian consumer confidence jumped to a six-month high in August amid increased expectations among homeowners that the central bank would not raise interest rates this year, according to a survey released Wednesday.


Rural jobs plan threatens India budget deficit
The centre-left coalition is likely to introduce the legislation in the parliamentary session that ends on Aug. 26, although it is not certain the law will be approved.


Euro warning: cut spending or face inflation
Members of the single currency will have to slash public spending or face an 'unacceptable' rise in inflation, according to a new report.


CAFTA no foe to Georgia agribusiness, clothing co
Under the landmark Central American Free Trade Agreement, few states would be affected more than Georgia, one of the most prolific agricenters in the country and home to some of the biggest clothing manufacturers as well.


GM spin-off threatens to petition for bankruptcy
Delphi, the largest US supplier of car parts, warned it may have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection unless it can reduce employee wages and cut its benefit costs.


UAW and NUMMI reach tentative agreement on new contract
The UAW and New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. ( NUMMI) reached tentative agreement Aug. 6 on a new labor contract covering approximately 4,000 workers at the company's Fremont, Calif., facility.


Ford To Shed Sales Jobs
Ford Motor Co., hurt by flat sales and high costs, is consolidating its Ford and Lincoln Mercury marketing divisions and shedding sales jobs, the company said Tuesday.


South Africa: Strike Set to Add to Gold Sector's Woes
The wave of labour strikes taking place in SA is set to continue as the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) yesterday started the first industry-wide strike in the gold-mining industry in 18 years.


No meals on BA long-haul flights
Long-haul flight passengers are being offered food vouchers Passengers on long-haul British Airways flights out of Heathrow Airport are without meals after a strike by the airline's catering firm workers.


Fuel outdoes labor costs at some airlines
Typically, fuel is a distant second behind labor as a company expense. But that's changing as oil prices have zoomed to more than $60 a barrel, and airlines have aggressively cut or restrained labor costs. '


Tension at Indonesia's Garuda intensifies ahead of planned strike
The ongoing dispute between the cabin crew union and the management of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia intensified on Tuesday after Garuda forcibly shut the offices of the Association of Cabin Attendants (Ikagi) at Sukarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng. It has accused the management of violating the country's Constitution as well as the law on labor unions, which guarantees the freedom of association.


NORTHWEST AIRLINES: With strike looming, carrier heads back to talks with mechanics
EAGAN, Minn. -- Northwest Airlines Corp. and its mechanics union on Tuesday agreed to resume contract talks ahead of an Aug. 20 strike deadline.The airline and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association were asked by the federal board overseeing the talks to resume bargaining Monday, said Bob Rose, president of the union local in Detroit. Northwest said it looks forward to negotiations.


Asiana Airlines Pilots Comply With Order
South Korea Pilots at Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-biggest airline, agreed Wednesday to comply with a government order halting their 25-day strike.


Friday, August 05, 2005

A Crucible in Turkey
Turkey's struggle to privatize its biggest steel maker is a symbol of the country's negotiations to join the European Union.


1,800 Rover workers have new jobs
MORE than 1,800 former MG Rover workers are already back in work, according to a report published today.


Chrysler to overhaul manufacturing
The move to flexible plants will improve efficiency and the bottom line at Chrysler.


Delphi in talks with GM, UAW about restructuring
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Delphi (DPH), the nation's largest maker of auto parts, on Friday confirmed it is in talks with its main unions and its former parent and biggest customer General Motors (GM) about restructuring its U.S.


German Industrial Production Surged in June on Euro Retreat, Investment
5 (Bloomberg) -- Industrial production in Germany, Europe's largest economy, rose more than expected in June as the euro's decline against the dollar bolstered exports and companies invested more in construction and goods such as factory machinery.


Russia's GDP grows 5.6 percent in first six months
Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 5.6 percent in the first six months of this year as compared to 7.7 percent in the same period last year.


Jobless rate in Canada up slightly
OTTAWA (CP) - Unemployment crept up slightly in July, to 6.8 per cent from 6.7 per cent in June, but remains around the lowest levels recorded in three decades, says Statistics Canada.


Brazil's June Industrial Output Rises 6.3 Percent on Cars, Home Appliances
5 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil's industrial output surged 6.3 percent in June from a year earlier, led by production of cars, mobile phones and home appliances, the government said in a report.


Chilean Economy Expanded 6.4 Percent in June on Manufacturing and Exports
5 (Bloomberg) -- Chile's economy grew 6.4 percent in June, bolstered by increased manufacturing output to fill orders at home and abroad.


Strike declared in Argentine trains
La Fraternidad Trade Union's leader Omar Maturano told the press that its members had not received any wage increase in the past nine years. The 24-hour strike started on Wednesday evening.


Fighting roadside bombs is full-time job In Iraq
By Michael Georgy ABU GHRAIB, Iraq - U.S. troops slowly shovel through garbage for the deadliest weapon they face. It's tedious work in blistering heat but they can't rest. Searching for roadside bombs in Iraq has become a 24-hour-a-day job. '


Infosys Takes Outsourcing to China
In a twist on global outsourcing , Indian-based software firm Infosys Technologies is setting up development centers in China. The firm will invest US$65 million over a five-year period and will hire some 6,000 engineers there, a dramatic increase from the 250 employees it has in China already.


Danish clothes stranded in China
EU quotas on textile imports have locked large clothing deliveries to Danish fashion companies inside China's borders Danish clothing companies are biting their nails these days.


Bush Wins the CAFTA Battle, Women and Poor Workers Pay the Price
By NOW Staff August 2, 2005
Today George W. Bush signed into law the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and women and low-income workers will suffer the consequences.


Competing Trade Unions: Bad for AFL-CIO, Good for Workers
Online Human Events: The National Conservative Weekly
The departure of the AFL-CIO's three largest unions has already reduced the federation's membership by a third and its income by a fourth. Other unions may head for the exit.
All that competition for union dues is bad news for the AFL-CIO hierarchy, but not necessarily for unions in general, much less for workers in general.


Iraqi charter draft alarms women's rights defenders
Washington -- American and Iraqi women's rights advocates fear that Iraq's new constitution, which is to be completed by Aug. 15, will limit women's ability to participate in almost all aspects of society.


Newmont trial begins in Indonesia
In a makeshift court in the capital of North Sulawesi, prosecutors accused the local unit of U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp. and its American chief executive of causing pollution that made locals living around Buyat Bay sick.


Recruiting agents deem Philippine proposal unrealistic
Manama: A shake-up in the recruiting of housemaids is expected in Bahrain.
A proposal by the Philippine embassy's overseas labour office on a standardised salary for Filipina housemaids is regarded as unrealistic by recruitment agents.A $300 (Dh1,101) monthly salary for a housemaid would not be accepted by prospective employers and consequently by recruiters, the Bahrain Recruiters Society said.


Making the big trade-off / Technology kills much of the agony -- and the joy -- of being a floor broker
By Jenny Strasburg
After 29 years at San Francisco's Pacific Exchange, Don Kaiser, 56, is trading his role as the options trading institution's last remaining independent floor broker for a career in Marin real estate. Jake Gillis, 32, who entered the options business...


Google searches the world for gourmet chefs / Free food perk dished up for its employees
By Chris Gaither
Google Inc.'s stock is cooking, but the Internet giant is having trouble in the kitchen. Google on Thursday announced a global search for two executive chefs to oversee preparation of the Mountain View company's most celebrated employee perk: free...


Consumer Confidence Dips in Early August (AP)
AP - Consumer confidence dipped in early August, the second straight monthly decline, as people were anxious about the economy's prospects and their own in the months ahead.


Jobs growth unexpectedly strong in July (Reuters)
Reuters - U.S. job growth picked up last month as employers added 207,000 workers to their payrolls, a healthy gain that led Wall Street to increase bets on rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Missouri's economic growth slows, index shows
Missouri's economy is growing, but at a slower pace, according to a monthly survey of supply managers and business leaders released Monday.


Japanese recovery is solid, BOJ official says
TOKYO The Bank of Japan is getting more confident that an economic recovery is sustainable because consumer spending is improving at a faster pace and export growth may accelerate, the bank's top economist said.


GDP growth not translating to more jobs, higher income in Philippines
By Roderick T. dela Cruz The economy is growing this year but it is not translating to higher income for employees or more jobs for the unemployed, data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) show.


Global economy: manufacturing sector grows in euro zone, Japan
LONDON, AUG 1: Manufacturing activity hit an 11-month high in Japan in July and returned to marginal growth in the euro zone, but UK manufacturers are struggling and the Chinese economy may be cooling, survey data shows.


Few economic benefits
Defenders of the global economic status quo often toss around the notion that the number of people living on US$1 per day has decreased thanks to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) WTO model.


Dominican economy grew 5.8 pct in January-June
Central Bank Governor Hector Valdez Albizu said on Monday the January-June growth rate compared to 2.6 percent gross domestic product expansion in the same period of last year.


Asiana Airlines strike continues for 16th day
Asiana Airlines management and its striking union pilots failed to conclude contract negotiations for a 16th straight day yesterday as the carrier said economic losses from the walkout exceeded 187 billion won.


US aircraft industry shaking up unions
South Africa Business Report
Fearing for their jobs, United States aircraft workers are more open to helping their employers reduce labour costs and bring new work to production lines.


GM recalls 130 to Muncie Indiana plant
General Motors has recalled about 130 workers to a transmission plant it plans to close next year once production contracts end.The work force at the plant was cut in half last year when about 450 workers were laid off. About 255 members of United Auto Workers Local 499 remain, along with the workers called back on Monday.


Healthcare premiums in Massachusett to leap again
By Jeffrey Krasner, Globe Staff
Most Massachusetts companies and their workers will get hit with increases in their health insurance premiums of 10 percent or more beginning next year, according to the state's largest insurers.


It's lights out in Hampden
By Jenna Russell, Globe Staff
HAMPDEN -- Until last month, Hampden had a full array of local services: a town library gearing up for its summer reading program; a busy new senior center with a fireplace and pool tables; a parks and recreation office with a full-time director. But no longer: The library, the senior center, and the recreation office in this rural town just north of the Connecticut border were closed July 1 until further notice, their budgets cut to zero after voters rejected a hotly contested proposal to increase property taxes to keep them open.


Union anger at French jobs plan
New measures designed to improve flexibility in the French labour market have been fiercely criticised by unions.


Central African Republic: University Lecturers End Strike Over Unpaid Overtime
Striking lecturers at the University of Bangui agreed to return to work on Tuesday after the government said it would pay overtime from a 250-million-franc CFA (US $465,004) French grant.
"This unfortunate incident would not have occurred if the government did not keep half of our money," Marcel Kembe, the acting head of the university's Geography Department, said in Bangui, the nation's capital.


South Africa: Petrol Hike to Hit Economy Hard
It is not only richer South Africans with cars who are having to fork out more; poorer people are doubly disadvantaged by price increases, because they pay more for transport and for their major fuel source, paraffin.


Engineer Pushes for Science Education to Create 'Brain Gain' excerpts from an Interview with Dr Ernest Simo
Adaeze Okongwu
Washington, DC

Supporters of an initiative to improve the quality of science and engineering in Africa say the creation of the Nelson Mandela Institute for Knowledge Building and the Advancement of Science and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa (AIST) is a key step in training and supporting the doctors, nurses, engineers and software designers who will further Africa's development.

Dr. Ernest Simo is the first African-born finalist in NASA's astronaut selection process and also pioneered the creation of Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), Low Earth Orbiting satellite systems (LEOs) and Personal Communications Services (PCS). He left Cameroon in 1974 to attend university in the UK, but maintains an interest in science and technology on the continent. In an interview with AllAfrica, Simo said that technological innovation is an essential part of improving quality of life in Africa.


Sudan: What Economic Benefits Does It Offer?
Risdel Kasasira
THE signing of the peace pact between the leader of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army/Movement, Mr John Garang and Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir was widely seen as the return of peace in southern Sudan. Garang was on July 9 sworn in as the First Sudanese Vice-President. Neighboring countries like Uganda, which have been warming up to do business with the oil rich region are seeing it as a chance to take advantage of the enormous market opportunities and unexploited resources.


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