‘McStrike’: the employees of McDonald’s leaving work for zero-hours contracts

‘McStrike’: the employees of McDonald’s leaving work for zero-hours contracts

McDonald’s employees in the UK are on strike in a dispute over contracts with zero working time and working conditions, which are closely observed in the fast food industry and trade unions. Staff from branches in Manchester and Watford will join colleagues in Crayford and Cambridge as part of a “McStrike” as workers demand a minimum £10-an-hour living wage. Members of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union are also asking for a choice of fixed-hour contracts, the end of unequal pay for young workers, and union recognition. Employees at…

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Entertainment, fashion and halal lipstick: retailers cash in on £200m Ramadan economy

Entertainment, fashion and halal lipstick: retailers cash in on £200m Ramadan economy

Muslims observing Ramadan are increasingly become the target by supermarkets and brands, which has led to a rise in spending on gifts and food during the month, in concordance to new research. The Ramadan economy in the UK is worth at least £200m, with supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons increasingly gearing products, displays and special offers on popular food items to Ramadan in areas with significant Muslim populations. This year, for example, Morrisons is selling a Ramadan countdown calendar, similar to an Advent calendar, aimed at…

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Record turnover and high investment in chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Record turnover and high investment in chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Belgium’s pharmaceuticals and chemicals sector had a record turnover of 65.8 billion euros in 2017, while investments totalled 2.2 billion euros, a 10-year high, according to figures presented on Thursday by the sector’s federation, Essenscia. “The year 2017 was positive for the sector,” said Essenscia Director Yves Verschueren. “There was record turnover and employment is going in the right direction. The trend is also favourable for export, traditionally one of our strongpoints.” Prospects for the future are also positive, despite uncertainties linked to the international situation, he added. Turnover went…

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Google owner Alphabet reports 84% rise in profits despite privacy concerns

Google owner Alphabet reports 84% rise in profits despite privacy concerns

Google owner Alphabet shrugged off mounting concerns over privacy on Monday to report an 84% rise in profits for the last quarter. The results eased concerns that investment in new ventures beyond its core search business was undermining Alphabet’s outlook. There also were no immediate signs that rising global privacy concerns would affect profits. Alphabet’s profit margins have fallen in recent quarters as it ramps up costly new projects in cloud computing and hardware at its core Google unit, and despite spending cuts on an unprofitable set of ancillary initiatives…

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Half of Flemish and Brussels employees make 3,100 euro or more

Half of Flemish and Brussels employees make 3,100 euro or more

One employee in ten earns 5,350 euro gross per month. In Flanders and Brussels, the average gross salary is 3,510 euro. The median salary is at 3,100 euro gross. This is 600 euro more than ten years ago, according to the annual salary barometer conducted by vacature.com and KU Leuven. The average wage is skewed up due a small group earning high incomes. The median wage is therefore a better reference point to compare ones salary to: The median wage (3,100 euro) signifies the point where half of the respondents…

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Nethys to install 18,000 m2 of photovoltaic panels at Liege Airport

Nethys to install 18,000 m2 of photovoltaic panels at Liege Airport

The Liege company Nethys carried off the public tender launched in view of the installation of photovoltaic panels on the premises of the Liege Airport. The economy on the cost of energy is estimated at 100,000 euros annually, indicated Wednesday the spokesperson for Liege Airport, confirming the information read in L’Echo. With a scoring of close to 92 points out of 100, Nethys was chosen among six candidates. Liege Airport specifies that a lawyer was consulted in order to conduct the procedure to its term without risk of conflict of…

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Best quarter ever for Antwerp Port

Best quarter ever for Antwerp Port

Antwerp Port had an exceptional first quarter, processing 58.3 million tonnes of goods, an increase of 7.1%, the joint enterprise that manages Europe’s second port announced on Tuesday. Container traffic increased by 9.5% to 32.6 million tonnes. This growth was higher than expected and justifies the port’s expansion projects all the more, Antwerp Port’s Director, Jacques Vandermeiren, said.

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Burberry hires former Kingfisher boss Gerry Murphy as chairman

Burberry hires former Kingfisher boss Gerry Murphy as chairman

The luxury brand Burberry has appointed the former boss of B&Q owner Kingfisher as its new chairman. Gerry Murphy, who currently chairs the food group Tate & Lyle and the European arm of the private equity firm Blackstone, will succeed Sir John Peace, who has been in the role since Burberry was spun out of the catalogue company GUS in 2002. Peace said Burberry had found a “superb” candidate with extensive knowledge of the consumer sector. Murphy has had stints at the food group Greencore and the media group Carlton,…

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Bayer to sell e-agriculture business to BASF to buy over Montsanto

Bayer to sell e-agriculture business to BASF to buy over Montsanto

German pharmaceutical giant Bayer is to sell its e-agriculture activities to its competitor, BASF, to make it easier to obtain approval for its bid to take over Monsanto. Bayer confirmed on Wednesday that, as part of modifications to the commitments it made with the European Commission, the group will however keep its license for certain digital applications in the agriculture sector. On the 21st of March, the Commission authorized the conditional purchase of the U.S. chemical giant Montsanto by Bayer. The transaction was conditioned on Bayer’s selling off a huge…

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Bitcoin’s soaring value was down to ‘infected’ buyers, economists say

Bitcoin’s soaring value was down to ‘infected’ buyers, economists say

The rise of bitcoin has comparisons with the spread of an infectious disease, according to economists who argue the digital currency may have peaked in value as more consumers become immune to its appeal. Analysts at Barclays said the soaring value of the digital currency last year, when prices rose by more than 900%, was helped by new buyers being “infected” by the euphoria surrounding bitcoin. The price has since crashed from almost $20,000 before Christmas to less than $7,000. Using studies from the world of epidemiology – the branch…

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