Top Stories

April 25, 2022


P&O Ferries forced to reverse attempt at pay cut to new agency staff

After sacking almost 800 employees last month, P&O Ferries has now been forced to reverse an attempt to pay its new, cheaper agency workers even less money. It comes after the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) received reports of agency workers at Dover being forced to sign new contracts on lower pay, after old ones expired. RMT argued the firm was now “trying to bring in an exploitative model, with the lowest possible standards they can get away with”. The union reported P&O Ferries to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who acted and affected seafarer’s contracts were amended with their original wages reinstated. The British Transport Secretary added that the UK Government has plans to “legislate to force” P&O Ferries to pay the minimum wage. (BBC News)


Coca-Cola and Nestlé among business giants joining supply chain climate engagement drive

Nine major corporates, including The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé, and Yum! Brands have joined the ‘Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition’ consortium. This partnership enables large businesses to support suppliers to measure and reduce emissions. Spearheaded by Mars, PepsiCo and McCormick & Company, the initiative gives financial incentives to suppliers to attend a series of educational seminars on how to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, develop and implement plans to reduce them in line with science-based pathways, and report on progress. Climate disclosure non-profit CDP estimates that the average supply chain network of a large multinational business generates 11.4 times the amount of emissions annually than its operations. This makes supply chain engagement a crucial part of developing and delivering credible corporate net-zero targets. (edie)


UK looks to ban purchase of medical supplies linked to forced labour

The UK plans to ban the NHS from purchasing “goods or services that are tainted by human trafficking and slavery” with the aim of “eradicating” forced labour from supply chains as part of an amendment to its Health and Care Bill. The amendment follows pressure from human rights organisations over personal protective equipment contracts with manufacturers in China, suspected of using forced labour of the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang province. According to Tussell, a contracts research agency, the UK health department bought billions of pounds of medical supplies for the NHS from companies with China-linked supply chains during the coronavirus pandemic. UK Government members of parliament are due to vote this week on the bill. (Financial Times)*


Pharmacists in England face abuse from patients due to drug shortages

Pharmacy staff in England are facing growing abuse and aggression from patients due to medication shortages, research by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has revealed. The hostility, including swearing and spitting, comes as availability of medicines is more uncertain due to Brexit, the pandemic, and ingredient supply problems. Two-thirds of pharmacies say they are dealing with shortages every day and another 21% encounter them several times a week. The PSNC study of staff across 5,000 pharmacies also revealed that 75% of pharmacies have seen patients turn aggressive after not receiving their prescribed medication, and 49% of pharmacy staff state patient abuse is undermining their mental wellbeing. Additionally, 51% of those surveyed believe supply chain issues affect patients every day. (The Guardian)


Move to renewables in NSW could create thousands more jobs than gas

Replacing Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, scheduled to close in 2025, with renewable energy would create tens of thousands more construction jobs than replacing it with gas, a new analysis by the Australian Conservation Foundation has found. The findings come amid the Australian federal election campaign, in which the major parties have promised to back fossil fuels. According to the conservation non-profit, replacing the electricity output of the coal-fired power station entirely with rooftop solar, would create 63,562 construction jobs. The same amount replaced by solar farms would create 14,415 jobs and windfarms 13,339 jobs. New fossil fuel generation lags behind clean options, with gas creating the lowest estimated number of construction jobs at 1,566, and new coal-fired power plants creating an estimated 8,576 jobs. (The Guardian)

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