The digest opens with Unite cited on the front page of the Daily Mirror over the fury at £250 million in bonuses for wheeler-dealers at the bailed out bank just as it faces a £500 million Libor fine. Unite national officer Dominic Hook is quoted in the Mirror, Guardian and FT taking the bank and the government to task: "The RBS division implicated in the Libor scandal is set to reap huge financial rewards, but innocent bank workers in call centres and branches up and down the country are having their jobs cut, pensions slashed and terms and conditions eroded. Once again, it looks like ordinary bank workers and taxpayers will pay the price for the greed at the top of RBS. It is time George Osborne put his foot down. This is no way to repay the country's patience.”
From bankers to boundaries , and yesterday could go down as the day the Con-Dem coalition sealed Cameron’s fate after the Lib Dems joined Labour in the lobbies and voted against the government’s bill that aimed to equalise constituencies across the country and cut the number of MPs by 50, mainly in Labour areas. This is the first time Lib Dem ministers have voted against the government, what took them so long?
And speaking of boundaries chancellor George Osborne is in a bit of bother as the Mail reports he has been accused of diverting the HS2 rail route from his constituency backyard, conveniently avoiding the more affluent parts of his Tatton seat, Osborne’s office denies any involvement and that could be true after all he is increasingly seen as a part time chancellor.
One call over HS2 that Osborne should heed is from music mogul – and train enthusiast – Pete Waterman who says that the HS2 trains should be built in the UK. After the row over Bombardier surely the government should look to using a UK based manufacturer, if there are any left by the time the project starts.
And from rail to the road and it Is bad news for Ford which has announced it expects to make further job cuts as its European operations lose an estimated $2 billion over the past year. A quarter of that total will be due to restructuring costs – such as shifting van production from Southampton to Turkey – but the company says the outlook in Europe is unpredictable with it factoring in almost 20 per cent cuts to production capacity, that sadly means the closure of three factories.
And still on car factory closures, some good news – albeit expected to be temporary – is that for once a court has intervened in favour of a trade union. The Telegraph reports that Peugeot Citroen has been ordered to pause its restructuring plans because its needs to properly consult its workers. Peugeot plans to shed 11,200 jobs and car workers across France took action yesterday. Solidarity comrades…
And also taking strike action today are workers at Greencore. The workers are challenging the greedy CEO over his fat cat bonuses while their own pay packets are slashed to the bone, with workers losing up to £2,000 a year. This is the first-ever strike at the Hull site and will hit production of favourite cake products, including the novelty and celebration cakes carried in major supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's, sadly it looks like the CEO won’t even give the workers crumbs from the table…
(no links all stories behind paywall)
hints at ringfence retreat (p1)
- Tory MPs call for halt on military cuts (p2)
- Labour demands extra tax on bonuses (p2) – Unite quoted
- Fear of town hall failures (p2)
- Nuclear flashpoint plays out in Cumbria (p3)
- Rating agencies under fire (p4)
- South east airports face capacity crunch by 2025 (p4)
- Cable urges companies to end all male boards (p4)
- Lib Dem deal allies blow over boundaries (p5)
- Apple doubles iPad storage (p15)
- RBS to pull out of M&A market (p16)
- Ford to continue investing in Europe (p18)
- Car part suppliers embrace flexible future (p19)
Edited by Mik Sabiers