Pay proposals of Royal Mail rejected

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A pay rise of 8.6 percent over three years for 125,000 employees of Royal Mail has been rejected by the postal unions. The proposal from the organization was rejected by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) for several reasons.

One of the reasons for rejection includes that the pay element in isolation does not met the terms of the CWU policy for an above inflation. Another reason includes that the pay element does not address the CWU’s claim for significantly improved overtime rates and new bonus arrangements. Moreover, the linkage to the earlier rejected pension proposals was not acceptable.

The proposal from Royal Mail includes a non-consolidated lump-sum payment of £300 for the part-time employees in December 2013. The deputy general secretary at the CWU, Dave Ward said, “The pay rise is only there as a sweetener to swallow some very bitter pills on damaging changes to pensions, and a raft of workplace uncertainty.”

Ward went on to say that, as far as the industrial stability is concerned, there is no real strategy for growth. Royal Mail consistently claims that is has a plan for growth, but cannot explain it to the workforce. A statement released on July 1, 2013 by the chief executive at Royal Mail said that the offer represents the Royal Mail’s commitment to a long-term engagement strategy with the CWU and their employees.


Manufacturing growth in China deteriorating

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The country of China has reported a slowdown in the growth of its manufacturing sector. The recent situation is raising some concerns that the economic recovery continues to be very fragile.

Reports state that the official Purchasing Manager’s Index – also known as the PMI – which is the key measure of manufacturing activity went down to a four-month low of 50.1 in June of this year. Even the sub-index of new orders went down and, as a result, indicated a weak demand on the market.

The economic growth of China is mainly influenced by the manufacturing and export sectors in recent years. Zhang Liqun, an economist with the Development Research Center said, “The June PMI fall, across the board on major sub-indexes, indicates downward pressure in the economy”. Another report from HSBC stated that the manufacturing activity in the country fell to a nine-month low.

HSBC – which surveys smaller firms – said that the PMI in China fell to 48.2 in June 2013, which is down from 49.2 in May of this year. The manufacturing and export sectors in China have been majorly hurt by a slowdown in the important markets such as the US and eurozone. This has a direct impact on the economic growth in general.


Nissan announces addition of 900 jobs in Smyrna

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Local officials have a reason to celebrate as the Japan-based motor company Nissan announced on June 27, 2013 that it would add 900 more jobs to build the Rogue at the Smyrna factory. Mark O’Neal, manager of the Smyrna factory said that this is great news for the community.

O’Neal added, “It’s great obviously for Smyrna. It’s another regional impact. Nissan continues to expand their facilities and productions. That puts them well over 7,000 jobs out there. That’s tremendous for the community. It’s tremendous for our citizens who work out there.” The new jobs announced will be with the Nissan contractor Yates which had started hiring on June 1, 2013.

Justin Saia, spokesperson for Nissan, said that the full-time jobs at the company will have a salary of $13.25 to $15.25 an hour, which includes the assembly line and production, industrial maintenance, tool and die maker, material handling, warehouse and production support positions.

The announcement was made by the company when Smyrna and Rutherford County saw an increase in the unemployment rate in May 2013. The county had a jobless rate of 6.8 percent, which marked an increase from 6.3 percent in April of this year.


Indian rupee achieves all-time low against the US dollar

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On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the Indian rupee has hit an all-time low against the US dollar and it is now at 60 per dollar. By Wednesday afternoon, the Indian rupee was trading at 60.62 to the dollar, compared to the 59.66 in late Asian trade on Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

After the news of the Indian rupee falling below 60 spread, even the stocks tumbled down. Kishor Ostwal, chairman and managing director of Mumbai-based brokerage CNI Research Ltd., said, “The wild swing in currency is adding to weakness in markets, which is already seeing selling by foreign investors”. According to currency dealers, the decline in the Indian rupee was partly due to big demand for dollars from oil companies.

The oil companies usually pay their import bills at the end of the month. Dealers also said that foreign investors have also been selling Indian debt. Since the beginning of May 2013, the Indian rupee has weakened by more than 11%, as global investors have rushed into the assets dominated by the dollar.

This has happened on expectations that the US Federal Reserve will soon roll back a huge stimulus program, which has injected billions of dollars into the global financial system.

Personal Finance

Betting made on Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby

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A celebratory mode is present in the royal family, as Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby is due in mid-July 2013. The impending birth of the royal baby will bring great joy to the family and will mark a big moment in history, but will also give people a chance to win big money.

The Duchess of Cambridge is due to deliver the royal baby in mid-July and thousands of people are betting when the baby will be arriving and whether it will have the signature ginger hair of Uncle Harry. William Hill is considered to be one of the world’s biggest online betting sites and it has already taken more than £20,000 in bets. The information on the betting was confirmed by the spokesperson Rupert Adams.

Adams said, “Obviously the closer we get to the big day, the more interest we will see”. The spokesperson went on to say that he expects most money to be bet on the name of the baby, which is followed by its size and the birth date. Some people might even win big if the royal couple decides on the odd choices like Waynetta or Chardonnay.

Most of the experts have predicted that Kate and William will have a beautiful princess, but the odds are split regarding which royal will carry the future queen or king out of the hospital.