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South Africa struggles continue in platinum mines

first_imgAn 11-week strike by 7,000 members of South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has resulted in a settlement granting them a raise of 9.5 percent. The strike against Northam Platinum facilities at Zondereinde was a major challenge for the NUM in the face of intransigence by the bosses and competition from the rival Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).The strike reflected protracted strife in the platinum mining sector, where for the last year and a half tens of thousands of workers have dropped their tools. In August 2012, 34 platinum mine workers at Lonmin’s facilities at Marikana in Rustenburg were gunned down by the Northwest provincial police.The NUM released a statement on Jan. 17 stating: “The NUM will continue to fight for better salaries and better working conditions for our members. NUM will never allow a situation where our members risk their precious life going deep down in the surface of the earth in searing heat to earn poverty wages. It is unacceptable.”The statement adds: “This has been a peaceful, bloodless and effective legal strike. The NUM maintains that violent strikes are unnecessary and they should never be allowed to replace dialogue. We truly thank our members for their discipline during this tough and difficult industrial action here at Northam Platinum Limpopo.”While this strike has ended, other industrial actions may be looming in the most intense platinum-producing region of the Northwest. The rival AMCU, which now has more members than NUM in the Lonmin and Impala mines, may strike during the week of Jan. 20.According to Business Day Live: “The NUM’s fierce rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), is threatening to issue strike notices next week at Impala Platinum and Lonmin, the world’s second – and third-largest platinum producers, respectively.“Anglo American Platinum, the largest producer, also faces a strike as AMCU calls its members out to back its demands for entry-level wages to more than double to R12,500 ($U.S. 1,150) a month.” ­(Jan. 17)South Africa is the world’s largest producer of platinum, with approximately 80 percent of known reserves. During 2013, the bosses were threatening to lay off thousands of workers, claiming that demands for substantial wage increases were driving down profits and creating losses. Nonetheless, the miserable wages and conditions of employment created an atmosphere of militancy that the owners could not ignore.Business Day Live stressed that “platinum company CEOs have warned against granting double-digit wage increases in an industry where more than half of the sector’s mines are loss-making in the face of high input costs and relatively weak prices for platinum group metals.” Similar arguments have been put forward by the capitalists in the gold sector, where large-scale downsizing has occurred in South Africa over the last two decades since the African National Congress (ANC) has been in power.Class and ideological struggles intensifyNational presidential and parliamentary elections will be taking place in South Africa in April. The ANC’s campaign Manifesto is calling for increased social spending and the creation of 6 million new jobs.The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the nation’s largest labor federation, has endorsed the ANC election Manifesto, although a fierce debate is going on within the organization.COSATU participated in the formulation of the Manifesto and its launching on Jan. 11. The federation views it as building on what it considers the progress made over the last 20 years.A COSATU statement issued Jan. 15 in support of the ANC election Manifesto lists several reasons for its endorsement. These points of agreement include a pledge by the ANC to increase wages and ensure collective bargaining and employment equity, along with reforming the financial sector of the national economy.Other important issues relate to the ANC’s pledge to “speed up the roll-out of our massive economic and social infrastructure programs, especially in energy, public transport, ICT and water supply, to unlock economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life of our people.”COSATU supports the Manifesto’s call to “enforce legislation to eliminate abusive work practices in atypical work and labor brokering and improve the capacity of the Department of Labor to enforce this and all other labor laws. COSATU will work with government to ensure compliance with these laws and will continue to campaign for the total banning of labor brokers.”However, the largest current affiliate in COSATU, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), has criticized the federation leadership for what it describes as its uncritical support of the ANC. NUMSA held a special congress in December where these differences were aired publicly.Even though NUMSA has taken positions at variance with COSATU, the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP), the labor federation says that it will not suspend or expel the affiliate. There has been speculation that NUMSA may attempt to organize across sectors, which would violate COSATU’s constitution of “one union, one industry,” and possibly form a workers’ party to eventually contest elections on a local and national level.The ongoing labor actions as well as the upcoming elections will give a strong indication of the trajectory of the South African working class. Workers and youth have been strongly represented at the ANC’s Manifesto launches throughout various regions of the country. If this is any indication of the popularity of the ruling party, it will be victorious in the upcoming elections, where the government for the next five years will be ­selected.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Week Ahead: Update on Economic Conditions in the Beige Book

first_img May 28, 2017 1,265 Views Previous: Nation Takes Aim at Veteran Homelessness Next: Tech Talks: How Technology is Shaping the Industry Beige Book 2017-05-28 Brianna Gilpin Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation’s leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email [email protected] The Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, otherwise known as the Beige Book, will be released this Wednesday. The book, released eight times a year, gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through Bank and Branch director reports and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. Summarizing this information, the Beige Book is an overall summary of the 12 district reports and prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis.The last Beige Book, released in April, reported increased economic activity between mid-February and the end of March. The pace of expansion was equally split between modest and moderate and additionally the pickup was evident to varying degrees across economic sectors.Manufacturing continued its expansion at a modest to moderate pace, but freight shipment growth slowed slightly. As reports of stronger light vehicle sales were accompanied by softer reading in non-auto retail spending, consumer spending varied.Reports suggested that residential construction accelerated somewhat though growth in home sales slowed partly due to lack of inventory. Nonresidential construction became more mixed in some regions, but overall remained strong. Leasing activity generally improved at a more modest pace.More than half of all reports showed increased loan volumes, but only one said they were down modestly. Non-financial services continued to expand steadily.The May Beige Book will be released Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST Share Save About Author: Brianna Gilpin This Week’s Schedule:Case-Shiller U.S. Home Prices, Tuesday 9 a.m. ESTPending Home Sales Index Report, Wednesday 10 a.m. ESTZillow: Effects of International Buyers Felt at Higher End of the Housing Market, WednesdayZillow: Paint Colors That Help Sell a Home for More Money, ThursdayFreddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Survey, Thursday, 10 a.m. EST Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Week Ahead: Update on Economic Conditions in the Beige Book Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: Beige Book Week Ahead: Update on Economic Conditions in the Beige Book Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago  Print This Post Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Related Articleslast_img read more

Councillor wants builders to take over ghost estates

first_imgNewsx Adverts Twitter By News Highland – November 5, 2010 Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson WhatsApp NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly WhatsApp Facebook A County Councillor has called for changes to the County Development Plan which would encourage builders applying for multiple developments to instead be encouraged to take over ghost estatesThe National Development Housing Survey, which was published recently, found that there were 133 ghost estates in Donegal.Councillor Jimmy Harte says that the CDP should be changed so that in the case of a builder keen on developing properties,  the council would only approve developments that will complete ghost estates.[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/jhart10.mp3[/podcast] Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleTiming of Councillor O’Domhnaill joining Fianna Fail a ‘coincidence’Next articleLetterkenny man to replace Mark Durkan in Stormount News Highland center_img Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Pinterest Twitter Facebook 448 new cases of Covid 19 reported today Help sought in search for missing 27 year old in Letterkenny Councillor wants builders to take over ghost estates Google+ Pinterest Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector publishedlast_img read more

Searches of Learmount Forest Park, Co Derry futile

first_img Searches of Learmount Forest Park, Co Derry futile Facebook Facebook Google+ Homepage BannerNews By News Highland – August 15, 2017 Pinterest WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Searches in Learmount Forest Park in Claudy, Co Derry have concluded.Detectives from the Serious Crime Branch began searches this afternoon as part of ongoing investigations into dissident republican activity.Police sources saying nothing of interest was found. News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th center_img Pinterest DL Debate – 24/05/21 Previous articleDylan takes Dingle title for second successive yearNext articleWatch: Daniel Craig confirms his return to James Bond but also says Bond 25 will be his last News Highland Twitter Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows WhatsApp Harps come back to win in Waterford Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Google+ Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODAlast_img read more

E-universities scheme axed over poor take-up levels

first_imgE-universities scheme axed over poor take-up levelsOn 1 Jul 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Poor student take-up and a lack of private finance were the main reasons forthe failure of the Government-backed UK e-Universities (UKeU) company, which iscurrently being wound down and its activities transferred. When it was established in 2001, the public-private initiative aimed to makeUK higher education available worldwide through online degrees and courses, butdespite the availability of £62m of Government funding, UKeU only managed toattract 900 students by September 2003, way below its target of 6,500. “The problem was not one thing but lots of things,” said Dr LizBeaty, director of learning and teaching at the Higher Education FundingCouncil of England. “It was a big stretch for the company to go fromcreating learning and development materials, building a platform for delivery,and then doing all the marketing at the other end. We also didn’t get theprivate funding that we’d hoped for. This was partly due to factors such as thedotcom crash, since money wasn’t being put into e-learning at that time.” Beaty is keen to point out that the demise of the online venture isn’t areflection of e-learning’s abilities, but more that changes in the learninglandscape meant UKeU was no longer the right structure to deliver such learning.”E-learning has changed so much over the past few years,” shesaid. “Our recent research showed that universities and colleges are nowgetting into managed learning environments, but they want to do it in their ownway and build out from their core business rather than have a company do it forthem. “While it’s been disappointing, the sector [higher education] istelling us that it doesn’t want people to think it isn’t interested ine-learning, because that’s just not true. The message is that e-learning istaking off but in a more blended way, with a campus-based lead, rather than abig push out to distance learning.” Funding for the UKeU project totalled £50m, which includes a limited andfinal sum to facilitate restructuring and transferring its activities. Thebalance of the £62m originally provided by the Government, as well as otherfunds, will be used to support the development of e-learning in universitiesand colleges. Following the most recent board meeting by HEFCE in June, a number of its activitiesare being transferred, including the e-China programme (a Sino-UK e-learningproject), which will be project managed by the University of Cambridge and thee-Learning Research Centre. This will continue as a partnership between theUniversities of Manchester and Southampton, and the Higher Education Academy. By Sue Weekes Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Bahrain Welcomes Indian Navy’s Vessels

first_img Authorities View post tag: middle east Four Indian Naval vessels entered Manama, Bahrain today, September 9, to enhance co-operation between the countries and work on disaster management and combating terrorism and piracy.Part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet, the vessels Deepak, Delhi, Tabar and Trishul will stay in port until September 12. During the visit the warships will have professional interactions to contribute to their relations with Bahrain.The four vessels are on a month-long deployment to the Gulf to enhance bilateral ties and engage in naval exercises with regional navies.[mappress mapid=”16884″]Image: Indian Navy September 9, 2015 Share this article Bahrain Welcomes Indian Navy’s Vessels Back to overview,Home naval-today Bahrain Welcomes Indian Navy’s Vessels View post tag: Indian Navy View post tag: Bahrainlast_img read more

OUSU may ignore vote

first_imgA motion has been tabled for today’s OUSU Council which would allow the student union to tacitly ignore the result of the recent higher education referendum and to continue with their current policy. The referendum was clearly won by the ‘reduce student numbers’ option, and OUSU President Helena Puig Larrauri and President-Elect John Blake have both agreed to change OUSU policy on higher education to reflect this. Yet today’s motion would “permit OUSU officials to interpret the phrase ‘decrease student numbers’ according to their own understanding of it”. The motion goes even further by calling for OUSU’s policy to be clarified as “to campaign for the abolition of tuition fees and the full restoration of maintenance grants, and for the higher education sector to be funded out of progressive general taxation” with no mention of campaigning to reduce the total number of student numbers. Ed Griffiths and Vladimir Gligorov, who framed the motion, claim that “our policy to ‘decrease student numbers’ does not in itself answer all the questions surrounding higher education funding,” and so they must “clarify certain details which it leaves ambiguous”. Mr Griffiths is a self-styled Communist and it is not thought that he carries the support of the majortiy of OUSU. However, Alexander Clark of the Educational Reform Group (ERG) told Cherwell that “OUSU are very supportive of the referendum results and both OUSU and the ERG are working together to tie down the details of the policy. This motion is not a serious threat to the integrity of the referendum result and should be dismissed as such.” Mr Clark dismissed Mr Griffiths and Mr Gligorov as “extremists and not the sort of people you want in any organisation let alone a student union.”ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img read more

LOU SCUDDER REGULAR SEASON MVP

first_imgAlex Traveras of All Saints Catholic Academy was named the Regular Season MVP for the league. ×last_img

Students at the Ocean City Intermediate School Learn Valuable Lessons in Bike Safety

first_imgThe lesson that Elias and Galante were trying to make to about 200 students who were sitting inside the gym Friday morning was clear: Wear a helmet when you ride your bike. It could save your life. So far, about 25 students have signed up for the rides. Students who participate in the rides will be entered in a contest to win a bike. “I think it is a positive program for Ocean City. Ocean City is known for bike safety,” said Galante, who owns two bike rental businesses in town and is a member of the city’s Healthy Living Advisory Council. Benfer, who coordinates the school’s bike safety program, said a “strong amount” of students ride their bikes to the Intermediate School. As part of the bike safety program, community volunteers and police officials will chaperone students on bike rides Monday through Friday next week to and from the Intermediate School. “We have five bike racks and they’re full,” he said. “Some of the teachers also ride bikes to school.” “If you don’t wear your helmet, you can easily crack your head open,” added Brendan Bergman, 10, another fourth grader. Ocean City boasts more than 100 miles of bike paths, including the Boardwalk, and has been recognized by the state as one of the most bike-friendly communities in New Jersey, Galante explained.center_img Next, Tony Galante took another melon and plopped it on the floor. This melon wasn’t protected by a bike helmet and it split in half. “It’s very, very important that you wear a helmet for those reasons,” Elias, a member of Ocean City’s Community Policing Unit, told the fourth and fifth graders. “We’re not trying to scare you. We’re trying to protect you.”Police Officer Jennifer Elias and retired teacher Tony Galante use melons to demonstrate the importance of wearing a helmet while biking.Elias and Galante were part of a bike safety seminar conducted each year at the Intermediate School in cooperation between school, city, police and fire officials. The program promotes the dual themes of safety and physical fitness. The seminar’s always-wear-a-helmet message was not lost on the students. Galante, 59, a retired Ocean City High School physical education teacher, told the students that biking and other forms of exercise promote a healthy lifestyle. But he emphasized the need for safety, particularly the use of a helmet.Ocean City’s Community Policing Unit participated in a bike safety program Friday at the Intermediate School.Elias wasn’t aware of any bike accidents in recent years involving Ocean City students. But Andrew Benfer, a fourth grade teacher at the Intermediate School, said two students were involved in bike accidents last summer, although they were not heading to school or participating in school activities. “It taught me to wear my helmet or else I could get hurt,” said 10-year-old Giovanna Barbato, a fourth grader. About 200 students in the fourth and fifth grades at the Ocean City Intermediate School participated in a bike safety seminar.By Donald WittkowskiPolice Officer Jennifer Elias placed a melon inside a bicycle helmet and dropped them both on the gymnasium floor at the Ocean City Intermediate School. The melon didn’t get a scratch.last_img read more

ABF to build biofuel plant with partners

first_imgAssociated British Foods has ­announced that it is to build a £200m biofuel plant in the UK with BP and DuPont, a move which will make ABF the major producer of biofuel in the UK.ABF and BP will each hold 45% of the joint venture and science company DuPont will hold the remaining 10%, subject to regulatory approval.The plant will produce bioethanol from wheat at BP’s chemicals site at Saltend, Hull, from late 2009. Its capacity will be 420m ­litres (330,000 tonnes) of bioethanol per year.ABF’s Frontier Agriculture business is set to arrange the supply of locally grown wheat. The major co-product of bioethanol production, distillers’ grain, is set to be sold to ABF’s AB Agri business. And it will use its sales and marketing business, which sources and develops co-products from the food, drink and energy industries, to market the distillers’ grain as an alternative feed for livestock.The announcement follows the investment by ABF’s British Sugar to build the UK’s first bioethanol plant at Wissington, Norfolk. Its capacity will be 70m litres (55,000 tonnes) of bioethanol a year, ­using sugar beet as a feedstock. The plant will start production next month.George Weston, chief executive of ABF, said: “This exciting project will make ABF the major producer of biofuel in the UK. Its announcement reflects our confidence in our sugar and agricultural businesses, in our partners BP and DuPont, and in the government’s commitment to biofuel production.”ABF said it expected a return on its investment ahead of its cost of capital in the first full year of operation.last_img read more