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Strategy changes for strike on French railroads

first_imgParis, France — The “reformist” (CFDT) and right-wing (UNSA) union federations officially exited the struggle against the management of the SNCF, the French national railroad company, on June 28. But the combative union confederations, the CGT and Sud-Rail, which between them represent more than 50 percent of railway union members, announced their intent to continue mobilizing together in July — and probably even later in the summer.Their strategy, however, will change. Since the beginning of April, they have conducted two days of walkouts followed by three days of work, which they call a “off-and-on strike.” Establishing the calendar of strike days well in advance — with two days on strike followed by three back to work — allowed passengers to plan alternate travel solutions. But it also let SNCF management arrange to mitigate the effects of the strike.So the CGT and Sud-Rail have decided to reveal the dates of work stoppages only a few days ahead of time, targeting them to coincide with the days most people leave for their monthlong summer vacation. The weekend of July 6-7 is the first, followed by an action involving freight trains on July 11.President Macron’s promises that no jobs would be lost lasted only a few hours. SNCF management has already announced that the company’s freight division will cut 700 jobs by 2021. What is the pretext? They expect the deficit incurred by this branch to be increased “because of” losses caused by the strike! The railway workers, many of whom lost more than 30 days of salary over the last three months, are ultimately being held responsible for these layoffs!And, shamelessly, the CFDT and UNSA union confederations, after dropping out of the strike movement — as was expected — are begging for crumbs in negotiations with the company’s human resource department over the new “collective agreement for rail transport” that is to replace the abandoned law regulating conditions for railway workers. As the saying goes, “When the bosses decide to restore slavery, the ‘reformists’ will negotiate with their masters over the size of the slaves’ chains.” …At the same time, another large-scale mobilization is developing, also historic in its strength, determination and duration. Energy workers have been fighting for over ten weeks in a very dynamic and massive strike led by young workers, which started in Marseille. At the call of the CGT energy federation, electricians and gas workers moved into action, cooperating with and supporting the railway workers’ strike, with quite similar demands but specific to their sector, in a spirit of solidarity to defend public services.Mobilization growsSince mid-June, this mobilization has been growing. It includes workers at Enedis, a subsidiary of Électricité de France (EDF), the leading electricity supplier in Europe; and Gaz Réseau Distribution France (GRDF), a subsidiary of Engie (formerly GDF Suez), the main distributor of natural gas in Europe. By the end of June, workers had blocked nearly 300 worksites and occupied more than half of them.These strikes were at first “off-and-on” before becoming extended and even unlimited, making this mobilization the largest strike in the French energy sector in the last ten years. The atmosphere at the strike sites is often welcoming and family-like, reforging broad bonds of local solidarity.Infuriated by the astronomical dividends paid to private shareholders, the strikers are on the offensive. They are demanding wage increases of at least 400 euros ($464) per month, permanent hiring of colleagues currently on fixed-term or temporary contracts, cancellation of scheduled job cuts, return of outsourced work and nationalization of the energy sector to make it a true benefit for public service consumers — and not for the capitalists.This strike is the culmination of the numerous powerful struggles led by electricians and gas workers over the past two years, which included the “days of anger” organized over several months in early 2017. Given the scale of the rebellion, the big-business media are imposing a total censorship of information. The frightened employers and government are impatiently awaiting the start of the summer vacation period, when they assume the struggles will run out of steam.Terrified at the risk that the struggle will spread, the ruling class is counting on the fragmentation of the workforce that has resulted from years of privatization and the dismemberment of the public sector. Bonuses for employees who stay on the job are even being discussed in the nuclear and high voltage lines sectors. … What will happen when vacationers return, when the people’s anger against Macron is renewed, and when the hope of change is reborn?Herrera is a Marxist economist, a researcher at the Centre national de la Recherche scientifique (CNRS), who works at the Centre d’Économie de la Sorbonne, Paris. WW staff translated this article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Visiting ban remains in place at the six University of Limerick…

first_imgUniversity Hospital LimerickUL Hospitals Group is reminding members of the public that the ban on visiting across its six hospitals remains in place.The activation of Phase 3 in lifting the covid-19 public health restrictions will allow us to gradually increase elective activity across our sites. However, the visiting ban remains in place to reduce the risk of transmission of covid-19 and to help protect the safety of patients and staff during the ongoing public health emergency.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The visiting ban was introduced in early March at University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, St John’s Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, Ennis Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. The ban also applies to the Intermediate Care Facility which opened at the UL Arena on June 8th. Nor is visiting permitted to patients attending the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick or at the Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s.“We regret the distress or inconvenience our visiting ban causes for patients and their loved ones, but it is necessary to keep it in place for now. This remains the case in the vast majority of acute hospitals around the country,” a UL Hospitals Group spokesperson said.The only exceptions to the ban are as follows:Parents visiting children in hospitalBirthing partners of women in the delivery ward only at University Maternity Hospital LimerickPeople assisting confused patients (e.g. dementia)People visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life (on a case-by-case basis)All these exemptions are limited to one person per patient only.UL Hospitals Group is being guided by the National Public Health Emergency Team and the HSE on its overall response to the pandemic including the volume and types of acute activity that can be safely undertaken in our hospitals.While visiting restrictions have more recently been relaxed in residential care facilities, this is at the discretion of individual operators and strict guidance around PPE, social distancing, environmental and other factors have been issued by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre to help facilitate same.The spokesperson said, “We will continue to be guided by the National Public Health Emergency Team, our HSE colleagues and the government on returning to normal operations. We have already commenced work at group level on how visiting can be safely recommenced in our hospitals pending a national decision.“We continue to facilitate virtual visits and to operate a drop-off and collection service for patients belongings.”Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals Group. said, “We know these restrictions are upsetting for many of our patients and their loved ones and this is why we have put in place additional supports in place for our patients until such time and the restrictions are relaxed.”“Throughout the pandemic, the people of the MidWest have made enormous sacrifices and shown tremendous support to healthcare workers. It is hugely encouraging for all of us to see families reuniting, businesses reopening, sports teams going back to training and a return to something like normality. However, we are not fully there yet and now is not the time to return to normal hospital visiting.In recent weeks, the number of emergency presentations at UHL has returned to pre-crisis levels, on some days exceeding them. Our hospitals are already busy as we plan to gradually increase elective activity. It is also clear from the statements of the NPHET and the WHO this week that the threat of Covid-19 is ever-present and we must all remain vigilant. The people of the MidWest have done a great job to date and we ask them, as society reopens, to continue to follow all the public health advice around hand hygiene, physical distancing, cough and sneeze etiquette and wearing a face covering where physical distancing cannot be maintained,” Ms Cowan said. Print Advertisement Linkedin Twitter Emailcenter_img Facebook WhatsApp Previous articleSamaritans kicks off July with ‘Talk to Us’Next articleSponsored: Great National South Court Hotel awarded 3-star hotel of the year Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie NewsHealthVisiting ban remains in place at the six University of Limerick Hospitals Group hospitalsBy Staff Reporter – July 1, 2020 877 last_img read more

Examiners behaving badly

first_img 53SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfield Before I jump into the kind of behavior that warrants an article like this, I want to say that I think most Examiners are good. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with many outstanding Examiners and support honest, ethical, and hard-working people at the state and federal levels. That said, there are still too many bad apples out there who need to be called out. I’m in a lot of credit union shops each year – 45 individual stops last year alone – and I see firsthand the stress examinations can cause. Most of the stress is quite normal and to be expected. There’s nothing fun about having our lives turned upside down, but it’s necessary. Exams are an essential part of our business, and we need (thorough exams) to ensure our safety, soundness, and long-term viability. For me, the problem starts when I hear nightmare examiner stories, stories that, if true (and I believe they are), are unprofessional and uncalled for. Most of the bad behavior falls into three buckets that I’ll call “the bad Bs,” and almost all occurs in smaller credit unions.BiasMember Bias. It’s a shame that at a time when credit unions are more focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, they still have to explain themselves to Examiners who display outdated bias, including statements such as,“you should quit lending to deadbeats who have credit scores less than 640.”When faced with this bias, I recommend that the credit union leader take some time to educate the examiner on credit union history and be prepared with research or examples that demonstrate that credit score alone is not a definitive factor in assessment of character.Credit unions that have been Low Income Designated (LID) by the NCUA should share the NCUA’s Supervisory Letter regarding supervision of LID credit unions. The NCUA issued the letter in 2010 and it was incorporated into Chapter 23 of the NCUA Examiner’s Manual – the chapter on LID credit unions. The guidance discusses the characteristics, benefits, and unique challenges of LID credit unions, and it further states: “Examiners should remember; however, all federal credit unions have a continuing obligation to meet the financial service needs of people of modest means…Examiners should consider these member characteristics and take them into account when they evaluate LICU loan portfolios as well as the products and services these credit unions offer.”I’ve written extensively on this topic. You can arm yourself with information from my past articles at CUinsight.com:https://www.cuinsight.com/ncua-thy-right-hand-dost-not-know-thy-left.htmlhttps://www.cuinsight.com/the-seven-myths-of-serving-lower-income-underserved-communities.htmlhttps://www.cuinsight.com/problem-members-vs-members-problems.htmlGender Bias. There are still “good old boy” Examiners who I believe treat female CEOs disrespectfully. It’s a level of disrespect I don’t believe would occur if the CEO were a male. It usually becomes obvious to me when the CEO is sharing the dialogue with the examiner. Comments such as, “I’ve told you before,” “Remember that last time you messed up,” and “We’re never going to approve that, you’ll have to wait your turn.” I admit, I wasn’t there to hear the conversation; it was shared with me in frustration. But I can tell you the effect of the comments was demeaning and were taken to mean the CEO is stupid.When I hear these of situations, I always encourage the leader to not tolerate it and to call out the behavior for what it is. I also encourage them to report this behavior to their Supervisory Examiner. Sadly, the fear of reprisal or retribution is high, and I doubt it gets reported. This is never acceptable and should not be tolerated. I believe that Supervisory Examiners will take these reports seriously. They need to be reported.BulliesThese are the Examiners who are condescending, rude, and unprofessional to credit union leaders, staff and Boards. They overstep their bounds, preying on credit union fear and lack of knowledge of their regulatory rights. These are credit unions that felt coerced into Letter of Understanding Agreements (LUAs), as they honestly thought there was no viable alternative. I’ve seen too many credit unions make agreements that I believe were not the best strategic decision for the credit union or the members they serve.I recently learned of a state examiner who was yelling at the top of his voice at a credit union leader. It’s never okay for an examiner (or anyone else) to yell at you. If they do, tell them that you expect a respectable decorum, or they can leave. Then report it to the Supervisory Examiner and demand an examiner that can professionally deal with the issues at hand. Make sure you understand the roles and responsibilities of Examiners, and your credit union’s rights. Don’t get coerced into something that is wrong or damaging for your credit union. Ask questions, and, if necessary, hire an attorney to give you sound legal advice. Also, NAFCU published an Exam Fairness Guide that is a great resource to help you navigate some exam challenges.Bad Advice I could go on all day here; I’ll try to be brief. There are so many examples of Examiners providing credit unions with advice that frankly, I don’t believe they are qualified to give. Far too many try to fit all credit unions into one-size-fits-all box. For example, they may assume that an indirect loan strategy that worked well for a credit union down the street will work for all credit unions. I also hear the opposite regarding indirect lending from Examiners, that it’s generally bad. I frequently hear recommendations to close branches or layoff people without enough thought to the reputation risk that could accompany some of those decisions. Or suggestions to CEO leaders that the credit union should just merge because there are no viable growth options for the credit union to pursue. Then there’s the specific suggestion on which shop the credit union should merge with.When I hear situations like this, I’m tempted to tell the credit union to get the Examiners “suggestion” in writing on regulator letterhead and ask the Examiner to share in the accountability if their “suggestion” does not go as planned. These situations are best mitigated through due diligence. I’m not apposed to credit unions considering Examiner suggestions. However, like anything else, they need to vet it and consider all the potential implications. Then, if they know it’s the wrong decision, they need to take a stand.Why it mattersCulture kills strategy. A culture that’s driven by extreme risk aversion, i.e. “the Examiners won’t approve,” will not end well. Examiners don’t run our businesses, we do. Unfair or discriminatory biases don’t belong in credit unions, and that includes Examiners. Don’t tolerate it. Credit union leadership in smaller credit unions is frequently a thankless job. Don’t undermine your experience and that of your team, or your quality of life by tolerating inappropriate behavior. YOU deserve better. Following bad advice, whether it comes from an Examiner or any other source could at worst cost you your charter, or at best could set your credit union back years financially. Credit unions – especially smaller ones – don’t have time or money to burn. Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Detailslast_img read more