Such controls will become a hurdle for thousands of workers across borders. It is unclear how long they will last.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states agreed late Wednesday to extend the pandemic shutdown in the country until at least March 7, partly because of fears of a more contagious variant.
MADRID – Spain reported 513 deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, down from 643 the previous day.
The health ministry registered 17,853 new cases, increasing the total to more than 3 million. The confirmed death toll is over 64,200.
The percentage of ICU beds occupied by coronavirus patients fell by one percentage point to 41%, which virus expert Fernando Simón said was still “very high”.
Spain has provided 2.91 million vaccines, with more than 900,000 complete doses. It is intended that 70% of the population be vaccinated by September.
PHOENIX – Arizona has reported more than 200 deaths from the coronavirus.
There are 2,507 COVID-19 patients occupying inpatient beds in the state, down from 5,082 as of January 11.
The Department of Health Services reported 1,861 new cases, raising the total to 791,106 confirmed cases and 14,662 deaths.
On Monday, the official number of COVID-19 deaths in Germany rose to 61,675 and the DAX stock index hit a new record of 14,169 points. Parallel increases in the death toll and share prices suggest that the pandemic is good for big banks, hedge funds and companies.
On the one hand, this is because the federal and state governments subjugate the health and lives of those who work for the benefit of their companies and shareholders, pumping hundreds of billions of Euros into the economy for the greatest benefit of financial markets and the greatest. corporation.
On the other hand, large companies are using the pandemic to implement long-planned rationalization measures and destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs, while smaller companies are not receiving government support. Not a day goes by without the company or business announcing layoffs and the closure of factories and branches.
Workers face not only companies, but trade unions and their workplace representatives. Trade unions have a large apparatus whose main focus is to ensure the highest possible return on investment to company owners, regardless of the cost of work and wages of workers.
This is exemplified by IG Metall who likes to call itself the single largest labor union in the world. Although it still has about 2.2 million members, that is a fifth less than it was 20 years ago. The enormous loss of membership under conditions of growing attacks on workers indicates a lot about the character of the union – which serves as an arm of management, not as a representative of the workers.
Of the € 591 million in membership fees that IG Metall collected last year, they spent only € 25 million on things like strike payments and legal protection, which is about four percent of total revenue. The lion’s share of membership fee income, € 216 million, is used to pay officials and branch offices. The unions have set aside another € 89 million for “hard times”; this money “works” for IGM in secret. This has spent € 31 million on training sessions for workplace representatives and functionaries.
While betraying workers, IG Metall would occasionally stage toothless protests, signature campaigns, and other calls on those in power to cover up its sales. While simulating a “struggle,” behind the scenes is working on a plan with the company’s top on how to implement the attack as smoothly as possible. So-called “social” plans destroy jobs through staff turnover, early retirement and partial retirement, forced severance pay and “transfer companies,” which only delay the inevitable commute to useless offices.
Hundreds of thousands of relatively well-paying jobs have been destroyed in this way over the past two decades. The jobs that have been created are generally low paid and offer little job security.
Now, capitalizing on the coronavirus pandemic, companies are ringing the bell for the next round of cuts. This is hardly reported in the media at all. One should search the local business press and newspapers for an – if not complete – picture. We’ve compiled some of the most recent reports here.
About 10,000 jobs at risk in between airline industry suppliers, about 6,300 of them in northern Germany. This is the result of a survey conducted by IG Metall to the workers council in mid-December. These companies reported a 45 percent decline in turnover related to the pandemic in 2020 and have also seen no improvement this year. According to IG Metall, small and medium-sized companies are often less strong in surviving crises.
IT companies IBM is planning nearly 1,000 layoffs in Germany. The reason cited is “maintaining competitiveness and alignment of organizations and skills”. In October last year, daily business Handelsblatt has reported that 2,300 jobs will be cut in Germany. A month later, it was said that in Europe, a total of 8,000 to 10,000 repetitions were planned. IBM is negotiating with the Verdi union on a “social plan,” which is the best way to enforce cuts.
Deutsche Edelstahlwerke (DEW), which is owned by the Swiss Steel Group with locations in Witten, Krefeld, Siegen, Hagen and Hattingen, threatened to close the factory if workers did not agree to pay cuts. IG Metall has agreed a “joint reconstruction agreement” to “save crisis-hit companies,” providing 400 layoffs by 2024 and the elimination of holiday pay and half of this year’s and next year’s Christmas bonuses. Steel workers have already given up 40 percent of their Christmas bonuses by 2020.
Chemical companies BASF wants to cut about 2,000 jobs in “Global Business Services” by 2022 to reduce costs. At the headquarters in Ludwigshafen, nearly 600 workers lost their jobs. The cuts will start next month. The IGBCE trade union supports this on the usual condition that cuts are made without “mandatory redundancy”.
Industrial and automotive suppliers Schaeffler announced last September that it would cut 4,400 jobs at 17 locations, mainly in Germany. Six factories will be closed, many jobs removed and company parts sold. The company wants to save 250 to 300 million euros per year starting in 2023. Last week, IG Metall and the workers’ board provided management at Schweinfurt with a union “alternative concept” for restructuring.
According to IG Metall, a Bavarian company Lingl, which, among other things, completes the brick work, will lay off a third of its current 400 employees. This was approved by the union after weeks of talks with bankruptcy administrators and workers’ councils. The laid-off worker will be transferred to a “transfer company”. Forty workers affected will retire early.
Austrian people Mayr-Melnhof The Corporation, headquartered in Vienna, plans to close the R + S Stanzformen GmbH site in Germany in Niederdorfelden, Hesse, with 80 workers out of work by the end of March. On January 31, about 90 workers at the Tadano crane factory in Zweibrücken were also notified.
German Bank wants to close one in five branches – 100 of its 500 branches in Germany – this year. How many jobs the cost has not yet been negotiated with Verdi’s service sector union.
Fragrance chains Douglas closed 500 of its 2,400 stores across Europe. About 2,500 will lose their jobs. Most of the shops affected are in Italy and Spain. In Germany, the country’s largest perfumery chain wants to close nearly one in seven stores, which means about 60 of its more than 430 branches. About 600 of the 5,200 employees at German shops will lose their jobs. Douglas boss Tina Müller blames a switch to online retail, from which the chain generates good revenue. Even though shops were closed, sales fell only 6.4 percent to € 3.2 billion. But profits have plummeted, so now employees are paying for it with their work.
Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) also wants to cut around 800 jobs in Germany alone. The priority is to lay off young mothers in stores because of the arriving customers and the main sales quota occurs at night and on Saturdays, when young mothers are less likely to be around. In addition, more and more customers are turning to online retail.
Siemens Energy recently announced subtraction of 7,800 jobs. IG Metall supports the plan on behalf of cost reduction and together with the board of directors and workers’ council have presented the “Future 2030 Agreement” to ensure smooth job reductions. Since then it has been known that 700 of the 3,700 jobs will be lost at the Berlin gas turbine plant alone. IGM had made numerous concessions in previous years, supposedly to secure jobs at the site.
WSWS has previously reported the loss of tens of thousands of jobs at Ford, Daimler, at the engineering firm Heller, at Airbus, Commerzbank, MAN Truck & Bus and the Adler clothing store.
Workers must defy the corporate push, backed by unions, to use the pandemic to tear apart jobs and living standards in the interests of billionaire owners. In order to successfully fend off these attacks and maintain wages and jobs, action committees must be formed that govern independently of the official trade unions and parties. We call on all those who are not prepared for the attacks negotiated by the union to take the first step and join the ranks. ” Network of Action Committees for Safe Work “On Facebook.
BERLIN (AP) – Germany, Poland and Sweden on Monday each declared a Russian diplomat in their country “persona non grata,” retaliating to Moscow’s decision last week to expel diplomats from three EU countries over the opposition leader’s case. Alexei Navalny.
Russia accuses diplomats from Sweden, Poland and Germany of attending demonstrations in support of Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most notorious political enemy.
“We have informed the Russian Ambassador that someone from the Russian embassy was asked to leave Sweden,” Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde wrote on Twitter. “This is a clear response to the unacceptable decision to expel a Swedish diplomat who was only doing his previous job.”
The German foreign ministry said Russia’s decision to expel European diplomats was “not justified in any way,” insisting that German embassy staff had acted within their rights under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to “be aware of developments on site.”
The ministry added that the decision was taken in close coordination with Poland, Sweden and the EU diplomatic service. The Polish foreign ministry tweeted that “according to the principle of reciprocity” it considers “diplomats working at the Consulate General in Poznan to be persona non grata.”
In a statement, EU lawmakers also appealed to “all EU Member States to show maximum solidarity with Germany, Poland and Sweden and take all appropriate steps to demonstrate the cohesiveness and strength of our Unity.”
The lawmakers are calling for “a new strategy for EU relations with Russia, centered on support for civil society, which promotes the values of democracy, rule of law, fundamental freedoms and human rights.”
The tit-for-tat expulsion comes as EU officials contemplate the future of the 27-nation bloc’s troubled relationship with Moscow amid deep concern that their big eastern neighbors see democracy as a threat and want to distance itself from the EU.
Moscow’s decision on Friday was an extra slap for Europeans because it happened when the bloc’s top diplomat – foreign policy chief Josep Borrell – met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Borrell said he found out about the expulsions on social media.
“The messages sent by Russian authorities during this visit confirm that Europe and Russia are separating,” Borrell wrote in a blog on his return to Brussels. “It seems that Russia is increasingly separating itself from Europe and viewing democratic values as an existential threat.”
He said the trip left him “with deep concern over the perspective of the development of Russian society and Russia’s geostrategic choices,” and the expulsion, which he asked to be canceled, “shows that Russian authorities do not want to take advantage of this opportunity to have a more constructive dialogue.”
Some EU lawmakers have criticized Borrell for leaving, or for not insisting on visiting Navalny, who was arrested in January when he returned to Moscow after spending months in Germany recovering from poisoning in Russia with what experts say was a Soviet-era nerve agent. Novichok. On February 2, a Moscow court ordered Navalny to be jailed for more than 2 1/2 years for violating the terms of his probation while in Germany.
Borrell tries to arrange a prison meeting through Lavrov but is told to take him to court.
“If you are familiar with court procedures in Russia you will know that it will take much longer than the duration of the visit,” Borrell spokesman Peter Stano said Monday.
Ultimately, the ride was never unique about Navalny. Russia is a major trading partner and the EU depends on it for natural gas. It is also a key player in talks to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and has a central role in conflicts that impact European interests, such as those in Syria and Ukraine.
Borrell’s goal is to “convey a strong message” about the broad state of EU-Russia relations as well as about Navalny’s imprisonment, Stano said. EU foreign ministers will debate the issue of February 22 in preparation for bloc leaders to consider Russia’s European strategy at a summit on March 25-26.
But the real challenge is overcoming the major divisions between countries on how to approach Russia.
EU heavyweight Germany has strong economic interests there, particularly the NordStream 2 submarine pipeline project, and Germany and other ambassadors are reluctant to quickly engage in a sanctions battle over Navalny.
Despite calls for such punitive action, particularly among some of Russia’s close but small neighbors in the European Union such as Lithuania, Borrell said on Friday that no country had officially submitted a proposal on who or what organization would be subject to sanctions.
Cook reported from Brussels. Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
If a deal is announced, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to claim to have fulfilled the promise that won him a resounding election a year ago: “Finish Brexit”.
Even with the deal, trade between the UK and the EU will face customs checks and other obstacles on January 1. But the deal will prevent the more damaging effects of tariffs and duties. Britain withdraws from the EU on 31 January, and the economic transition period ends on 31 December.
Johnson has always insisted that Britain will “prosper enormously” even if no agreement is reached and the UK must trade with the EU under World Trade Organization terms from January 1.
But his government has acknowledged that a chaotic exit is likely to lead to congestion at British ports, a temporary shortage of some goods and rising prices for staple foods. Tariffs will be applied to many UK exports, including 10% for cars and more than 40% for lamb, hitting the UK economy as it struggles to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past few days, Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have grown increasingly drawn into talks, speaking by telephone in an attempt to unblock negotiations that have dragged on for months, hampered by the pandemic and by both sides. ‘opposing views on what Brexit entails.
Rumors of a pre-Christmas trade deal have emerged in recent days based on progress on major issues that are overwhelming: fair competition, future dispute resolution and fishing.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will brief the EU ambassadors and legislators late Tuesday. The EU legislature said protracted negotiations had left lawmakers with insufficient time to approve a deal on January 1 and the legal complexities were now being explored to see if there was a deal that could still go into effect on January 1, while the European Parliament approves it later.
On Monday, Johnson stressed it didn’t really matter whether a deal was reached or not, saying Britain would “prosper” even if talks failed overnight.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake across the economies of both sides if no agreement is found, but Britain still insists its sovereignty overcomes the concessions that entitle EU ships in British waters, and the EU refuses to open up a lucrative single market to Britain unless it is committed to playing by the rules. EU.
The stalemate has made the talks overall inconclusive, with businesses on both sides demanding deals that will save tens of billions of dollars. Failure to reach a post-Brexit deal will cause more chaos on the UK’s border with the EU in early 2021, when the new tariffs will add another barrier to trade imposed by both sides.
While both sides will suffer economically from failure to secure a trade deal, most economists think the UK economy will be hit harder, at least in the near term, as it relies relatively more on trade with the EU than the other way around.