Top Stories

March 22, 2022


Labour party to force vote on workers’ rights after P&O sackings

The UK’s Labour party is to force an emergency vote in parliament to demand the government take action to outlaw “fire and rehire” practices. The move comes after shipping company P&O Ferries fired over 800 staff with immediate effect last week. Labour’s motion suggests the government was aware of the sackings before they were announced, as well as the plan to use “exploitative” practices to take on cheaper employees. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has claimed replacement P&O crews are being paid less than minimum wage. Labour will call on the government to suspend contracts with P&O’s owner DP World until the matter is resolved and to remove it from its Transport Advisory Group. The Department for Transport said ministers are “closely considering the department’s relationship with the company”. (Sky News)


US SEC outlines proposal requiring companies to publish climate disclosures

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released new proposals that would require companies to disclose on their emissions and reduction plans. The SEC proposal also asks companies to publish data on their direct emissions and emissions derived from energy needs, defined as scope 1 and scope 2 respectively, in their annual SEC filings. It would also require companies to make an annual disclosure of their plans to reduce emissions, including any targets with plans and timelines on achieving these. Scope 3 emissions, derived from a company’s value chain, would need to be disclosed only if they are deemed “material” or part of the company’s climate targets. Scope 3 disclosures would not require third-party verification. The SEC disclosures will also apply to foreign businesses registered with the SEC. (Financial Times)*


Ryanair rejects accusations it hiked fares on Ukrainian refugees

Ireland’s Transport Minister is to talk to Ryanair following accusations that the airline hiked fares on flights from Poland to Ireland as demand soared from Ukrainian refugees. The claims, made by the Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, have been rejected by Ryanair with its chief executive stating the claims are “completely false”. Demand for flights to Dublin from Warsaw has escalated since Russia invaded Ukraine and Ireland lifted visa restrictions for Ukrainians. Flights in the coming days are all sold out with one-way fares for Sunday being advertised at £144, the first day the route is showing availability, with flights thereafter dropping to between £60 and £23. Ryanair says its business model allows for cheap fares but on near-full flights, “the last few fares will be sold at the highest fares”. (The Guardian)


Disney to meet with staff after controversial stance on anti-LGBTQ legislation

Bob Chapek, the CEO of entertainment conglomerate Disney will meet with employees as part of a “global listening tour” in an effort to calm internal criticism around the company’s response to an anti-LGBTQ Florida bill. Disney executives announced the plan at an employee town hall after Chapek said the company wouldn’t take a public position on the Florida legislation, prompting protests from employees. He later reversed that decision and apologised. This comes as latest figures show US lawmakers have proposed a record 238 bills in the first three months of 2022 that would limit the rights of LGBTQ Americans – totalling over three bills per day. Nearly 670 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed since 2018 with almost all of the country’s 50 state legislatures weighing at least one bill. (Bloomberg*; NBC News)


The UK Royal Mint to source electronic waste to upcycle precious materials

The UK’s coin producer the Royal Mint is to start recovering gold and other precious metals from electronic waste from 2023 to use in its coins and bars. The Royal Mint expects to process up to 90 tonnes of UK-sourced circuit boards per week, retrieving hundreds of kilograms of gold per year to re-use in its coins, bars and other products. Currently, an estimated 99% of the UK’s circuit boards are shipped overseas to be processed at high temperatures in smelters. The UK disposes of over 300,000 tonnes of electricals annually, including 95 tonnes of recyclable precious metals such as silver and palladium. The Mint aims to eventually recover silver along with non-precious metals such as copper, tin, steel and aluminium. (Sky News)

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