ILO meeting to discuss employment crunch in the financial sector

Published at ILO, 23 February 2009

Keywords also in Wikipedia:  Globalisation, Credit Crunch, Financial Crisis, Economy, Employment, Trade Unions, Social Movement, ILO

GENEVA (ILO News) – More than 100 senior representatives of governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, gather here on 24-25 February to discuss the impact of the economic crisis on the more than 20 million people employed in the financial sector worldwide.

A new ILO report prepared for the meeting says jobs in financial services around the world have been strongly affected, with announced layoffs exceeding 325,000 between August 2007 and 12 February 2009.

With close to 40 per cent of the above losses, or 130,000 lost jobs, announced from October 2008 to 12 February 2009, the report also sees a rapid acceleration in financial services job cuts over recent months.

“These figures almost certainly understate the real situation in a sector which has been at the epicentre of the financial and economic crisis”, said Elizabeth Tinoco, Chief of the ILO’s Sectoral Activities Branch. “As the global economy sinks further into recession, and financial institutions’ assets experience even greater impairment, the industry’s job losses can be expected to rise even faster.”

The report defines the financial sector as being comprised of employees in the banking industry (retail banking and wholesale banking acting on national, regional or global financial markets); the insurance industry and re-insurance; and other financial intermediaries (e.g. hedge funds, mutual funds, wealth management firms, insurance agents and financial advisors, etc.).

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FYI Opel Antwerpen: Automakers, UAW move to create low-wage workforce in US

With government deadline for concession deal approaching

Posted on World Socialsit Web Site, for fair use only

By Jerry White
6 February 2009

General Motors and Chrysler have offered buyouts and early retirement packages to their entire combined workforce of 89,000 hourly workers in a move aimed at ridding the industry of higher-paid veteran workers and replacing them with new hires making half the wages.

The buyouts, which are being carried out with the full participation of the United Auto Workers union, is in line with the automakers agreement to drastically reduce labor costs in exchange for $17.4 billion in emergency loans from the Treasury Department.

As the February 17 deadline approaches for the automakers to conclude cost-cutting deals with the union-as part of the “viability” plans they must submit to the Obama administration-the UAW is keeping its members in the dark. The union bureaucracy has issued no public statements on its talks with the auto makers, which began in mid-January.

The terms of the federal loan require workers to accept wage and benefit concessions that would reduce them to the level of nonunion workers at US plants operated by Toyota and Honda by the end of 2009. In addition, the UAW must accept billions owed to a union-controlled retiree health care fund in the form of virtually worthless stocks, rather than cash. This would mean drastic cuts in health care benefits for hundreds of thousands of former workers and their dependents.

A clause in the bailout deal-co-drafted by the Bush’s Treasury Department, the congressional Democratic leadership and the incoming Obama administration-also bans auto workers from striking under the threat that the government will revoke the loans and throw the companies into bankruptcy.

While accepting the wage cuts in principle the UAW has been lobbying the Obama administration for an extension of the deadline so it can have more time to pressure older workers to leave. As part of its efforts to pressure reluctant workers to accept a buyout, the UAW has agreed to the elimination of the jobs bank program-which subsidized the lost wages of laid-off workers-just as layoffs are mounting.

GM, which has announced plans to slash 31,500 hourly and salaried jobs by 2012, ended the jobs bank program on Monday and Chrysler did so last week. The 1,600 UAW workers in GM’s jobs bank will be placed on layoff and must apply for unemployment benefits. As part of the loan deal the Treasury Department called for the “elimination of the payment of any compensation or benefits to U.S. employees of the company or any subsidiary who have been fired, laid-off, furloughed, or idled, other than customary severance pay.” Continue reading

Stakingen breiden uit in GB – Strike action spread in UK

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “up2unow: UK: Strike Action Spread“, posted with vodpod

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Aan GM is reeds lang een vies reukje – GM stinks since a long time

General Motors killed the Electric Streetcar in the US by buying lines and then closing them down
General Motors schakelde de Electrische tram uit in de VS door tramlijnen op te kopen en ze dan te sluiten.

Maar nu staan de parkings in de VS vol met energieverslindende wagens die niet verkocht geraken. Zie fotoserie.

But now the carparks in the US qre filled with cars that consume too mutch gasoline and find no sellers. See photo gallery

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Video Report from World Social Forum 2009 Belem

up2unow Videos

Opening ceremony at WSF 2009

Official Website WSF 2009

Wikipedia Page (EN)Wikipedia Pagina (NL)Page Wikpedia (FR)

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Assault on Ms. Constantina Kuneva: Fear for the physical integrity of a human rights defender

Urgent call from fidh
The Observatory has been informed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) about the assault on Ms. Constantina Kuneva, a Bulgarian migrant worker and General Secretary of All Attica Union of Cleaners and Domestic Workers (PEKOP) based in Athens, which represents workers in the cleaning sector in the Attiki region, and the subsequent lack of adequate investigation by the Greek authorities into this assault.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your intervention in the following situation in Greece.

According to the information received, on December 22, 2008, Ms. Constantina Kuneva was the victim of an attack using sulphuric acid as she was returning home from her workplace. She was seriously injured, losing the use of one eye and of her vocal chords and she is still in a hospital intensive care unit. Continue reading