12 Jan
2020

Seafarers call for legislation to protect against exploitation, biased employment

first_imgExxon hiring practicesOutraged seafarers are now calling for legislation to be set up to protect their, and other Guyanese rights, as they believe they are being exploited and less favoured by El Dorado Offshore (EDO), a subsidiary of Ramps Logistics, that has been employing citizens to work in Guyana for oil giant, ExxonMobil .A group of steamy seamen on Thursday joined their voices, backed by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA), while requesting for their names to be withheld for safety purposes.It was explained that although EDO has denied hiring Trinidadians, the group had photographic evidence of the company conducting a hiring campaign in Trinidad.The disappointed group of men told members of the media that they believe their concerns are being swept under the rug, despite meeting with Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson and junior Minister within the Ministry, Annette Ferguson.In fact, the men said it was just May of this year that they met with the junior Minister who assured that the issue would have been addressed in Parliament.Several issues were raised by those workers on Thursday, including the well-positioned jobs being given to Trinidadians and the foreigners being treated better than locals.According to them, their contract would only allow them to work for a 28-day period, whereby Trinidadians are given more extended contracts with EDO.They also contended that those employees are being paid more money in United States (US) currency and would benefit from transportation allowances, among others. The workers said while the foreigners were entitled to these privileges, they would have to bare their own expenses.An experienced engineer who was among the men expressed how frustrated he was as the company has been turning him down at every attempt he makes to apply for the engineer position. He said although he knows the position is available and that he is fully competent for the position, his application was never acknowledged.Breach of lawsThe seafarers are now of the firm belief that they are being exploited as the company they are employed with is breaching the laws of Guyana.As outlined by the men on Thursday, the laws of Guyana clearly allow for workers to be paid double their daily salaries on holidays and Sundays. According to the workers, the contract they signed with the company did not make provision for this law. In fact, they are only paid double on Sundays. Other workers from various ships who work under the same company complained of not being paid double at all while some on another ship said they are paid double only on holidays.EmployeesEl Dorado Offshore has since refuted the claims of these workers. Guyana Times was told that the company has denied the allegations saying that it has in fact hired over 70 per cent Guyanese.Next moveThe seafarers, who said they have already engaged their superiors on the matter to no avail, added that they are now contemplating their next move.According to them, the matters affecting them have been raised multiple times in meetings which would just lead to them being assured that their issues would be “looked into”.In fact, it was just two or three months ago the men noted that the matter was raised.The men are now clamouring for a law to be set up to protect their rights. In addition, they said they believe that seamen seeking employment in Guyana should be given a work permit rather than just showing up here in Guyana for jobs, snatching the opportunity away from locals.Human rightsCommenting on the issue, an official at the GHRA deemed the behaviour of the employers unacceptable. The officer said the contractual agreements outlined for the workers are “outrageous”.Just last week these very concerns were brought to light by seafarers at the recent Policy Forum Guyana (PFG) open space meeting on oil and gas, held at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute, where members of the Guyana Seafarer’s and General Workers Union (GS&GWU) protested against actions of the Trinidadian company.Earlier this year, the Union had written to Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge about the alleged discrimination which was transpiring.Local ContentIt has been argued that the primary aim of the local content policy should be to ensure the education, inclusion, and advancement of as many Guyanese as possible in the oil industry.The draft local content policy has been criticised in recent months for lacking provisions which would safeguard against exploitation by companies, especially since there have been intensified reports of the local companies being bypassed for contracts and services with foreign companies being favoured.According to the draft local content framework document, the policy seeks to address the suite of opportunities that may arise and the approaches to be taken in selecting and developing opportunities related to enhancing the capabilities of Guyanese nationals and businesses through training and well-tailored social contributions for greater impact and benefits among others.The second review of the local content policy is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.last_img read more

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10 Aug
2019

July 6 2015photo by Tomiaki TamuraArcosanti 5wee

first_imgJuly 6, 2015photo by Tomiaki TamuraArcosanti 5-week Workshop program starts with One-week Seminar which consists of in-depth tours of the site and its activities, lectures on Soleri and Arcosanti related subjects, nature walk, sample work, siltcast tile-making and more.[Text and photos by ttmr]photo by Tomiaki TamuraSiltcast instructor Randall Schultz guides each of the Seminar participants in making an 8 inch by 8 inch square plaster tile for this morning session which takes few hours.last_img

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9 Aug
2019

Governor signs Rep Kahles bill banning child mutilation

first_img11Jul Governor signs Rep. Kahle’s bill banning child mutilation Categories: Kahle News,News Legislation that gives survivors of female genital mutilation the opportunity to seek criminal prosecution up to 10 years after the offense or the victim’s 21st birthday, whichever is later, was signed into law today.The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Bronna Kahle as part of a bipartisan legislative package addressing female genital mutilation (FGM), which is any procedure performed on girls intended to remove or damage the external genitalia.“The girls who suffer mutilation have faced a barbaric act few of us can comprehend,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “They should not be expected, at such a young age, to fully understand the lifelong impact of the damaging injuries they have endured.”Her legislation was part of an eight-bill package that prohibits FGM, sets sentencing guidelines, requires improved education on the procedure to law enforcement and health officials, and adds an extension on the civil statute of limitations to allow victims to recover personal damages.The package follows a February incident when two young girls from Minnesota were subjected to the procedure at a southeast Michigan clinic. A Livonia couple was arrested on federal charges in April for allowing and performing the procedure after hours at their medical clinic, while a third individual was fired from their emergency room doctor position for performing the procedure at the same Livonia clinic.Kahle’s House Bill 4690 is her second bill signed into law. It is now Public Act 79 of 2017 following Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature“I was pleased to work with my colleagues to make sure this happened,” said Kahle. “This procedure has no benefits. It’s only done to damage and relegate women to second-class status. There’s no place for it in Michigan.”#####last_img read more

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9 Aug
2019

Rep Lauwers plan to increase government efficiency and transparency clears House committee

first_img29Nov Rep. Lauwers plan to increase government efficiency and transparency clears House committee Categories: Lauwers News,News The House Agriculture Committee today passed state Rep. Dan Lauwers’ plan to update and streamline the state’s laws protecting Michigan’s animal food agriculture.“This solution is a great example of legislators and constituents working together to serve Michiganders and make government more efficient,” Lauwers said. “Our farming technology has changed dramatically since this law was first enacted in the 1980s, and I am pleased to see the important work of updating the law move forward. Thank you to our partners in the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and various industry representatives for their work on this plan.”The bills’ movement signals great progress on a multi-year effort between the Legislature and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to update Michigan’s animal husbandry laws that began in 2015, when Lauwers chaired the House Agriculture Committee. This legislation also carried personal significance for Lauwers. His daughter, Lauren Lauwers, worked on this issue in 2015 while an intern for MDARD. She returned to the department after her internship to continue working on the issue.“These crucial changes bring order to Michigan’s Animal Industry Act, making it easier to follow and government more transparent,” said Dr. James Averill, deputy director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “By updating and streamlining the Act, Michigan will be more nimble in its response to technological advances in agriculture. I commend Rep. Lauwers on his work to move this important bill through the legislative process.”Since its enactment in 1988, Michigan’s animal industry law has been amended sporadically many times, which resulted in a hard-to-follow mishmash of regulations. Updates were needed to reorganize and streamline the law, making it easier for Michigan’s farmers to follow.“Making the law easier to reference and follow will help Michigan’s farmers and agribusiness owners take all necessary precautions to protect all aspects of food animal production,” Lauwers said.HBs 6205, 6206 and 6214-15 will proceed to the full House for consideration.last_img read more

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7 Aug
2019

Ericsson is set to acquire the broadcast services

first_imgEricsson is set to acquire the broadcast services division of Technicolor.Ericsson has submitted a binding offer of €19 million and a potential earn-out based on 2015 revenues of the division’s activity of up to €9 million. The company said the acquisition would boost its broadcast operations in terms of the number of channels managed and households reached.“As the TV industry is undergoing fundamental changes with the transition to multi-platform, on-demand television, teaming up with a trusted partner enables broadcasters to meet the increasing commercial and technological complexity and competition in the TV market,” said Magnus Mandersson, executive vice-president and head of business unit global services, Ericsson. “We combine our service and technology leadership with strategic investments in playout operations, broadcast capability and competence.”The closing of the acquisition is subject to relevant customary regulatory administrative approvals and consultations.last_img read more

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7 Aug
2019

Liberty Global is planning to bid for UK cable ope

first_imgLiberty Global is planning to bid for UK cable operator Virgin Media, with a move expected in the coming days, according to the UK’s Financial Times newspaper, citing sources familiar with the situation.In a brief statement, Virgin Media confirmed that the pair had been in talks. “Virgin Media confirms that it is in discussions with Liberty Global, Inc., a leading international cable company, concerning a possible transaction. Any such transaction would be subject to regulatory and other conditions. A further announcement will be made in due course,” the company said.Shares in Virgin Media on the NASDAQ exchange closed at US$38.69 (€44.74) yesterday, giving Virgin Media a valuation of US$10.4 billion. The company has an estimated enterprise value of US$20 billion including debt. Liberty Global reported cash reserves of US$3.3 billion in its third quarter earnings, with some of that earmarked for the company’s buyback programme.A successful bid for the UK’s sole large-scale cable provider would put Liberty Global chairman John Malone in direct competition with his old rival Rupert Murdoch, chairman of BSkyB’s main shareholder News Corp.In the UK, Malone has previously attempted unsuccessfully to bid for NTL, and also acquired a significant stake in Telewest, the two companies that later merged to form Virgin Media.There was some speculation in 2011 that he would make a bid for BSkyB in the wake of the collapse of News Corp’s move to take control of the company, but Malone quashed this, saying he would not bid against Murdoch.last_img read more

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7 Aug
2019

Amazon has agreed to buy Twitch a video platform

first_imgAmazon has agreed to buy Twitch, a video platform and community for videogame enthusiasts, for US$970 million in cash. The deal follows reports from May that linked YouTube to the videogame site, with Google-owned YouTube said to be ready to imminently announce an acquisition for a similar US$1 billion price tag.Announcing the deal, Amazon said that Twitch had more than 55 million unique visitors in July, who viewed more than 15 billion minutes of content on the site, produced by more than 1 million broadcasters.US-based Twitch launched in June 2011 is used by gamers to live-broadcast, watch and chat about videogames. Users can stream their gameplay direct from their connected Xbox or PlayStation consoles.Amazon said that the site is also used by publishers, developers, media outlets, conventions and e-sports organisations – as well as by individual gamers.“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month – from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.“Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”Twitch CEO Emmett Shear added: “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”Twitch’s shareholders have approved the cash deal, which is expected to close in the second half of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.last_img read more

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