Friday, August 1, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014
Light Rail, Train And Streetcar Builder Bombardier Has A Strike In Canada To Add To Woes
Bombardier's transport management is in the firing line as a strike in Canada adds to its misery after losing a £1.4-billion (€1.6-billion) contract to build 1,200 rail vehicles to Siemens AG of Germany, one of their most influential competitors in the rail business.
In Canada, 700 employees at Bombardier Inc.'s plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario walked off the job after failing to reach a new labour pact with the manufacturer on Tuesday 9th August 2011.
Bombardier Transportation's plant in Thunder Bay, on the shore of Lake Superior in north-western Ontario, builds lightweight rail and mass transit vehicles including those acquired by Toronto Transit Commission for its subway, light rail, and GO train services with the first vehicles currently expected to be delivered in 2013 under the $1.2-billion contract.
The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), which represents the striking workers, advised the company earlier in the week, informing Bombardier that they would go on strike on Tuesday 9th if a new labour agreement could not be reached by then. The CAW employees have been working without a contract since May 31, 2011.
Bombardier has a full order book with approximately 8 years worth of work at the plant. However the company believes that as rail transportation is more competitive than ever they need to reach a deal that will enable Bombardier to remain competitive.
Bombardier's train division backlog of orders sat at $34 billion, or roughly 61 per cent of the company's overall backlog of $55.1 billion that includes a new $41-million contract that was secured last month to build bi-level rail vehicles for Orlando, Florida.
Both sides said they intended to keep the lines of communication open, and were ready to returning to the negotiations to work towards a deal. However, with such a large backlog Bombardier is under pressure to maintain production and customer loyalty.
In Britain Bombardier on Tuesday 11th July 2011 announced that it plans to severely cut production at its British train-building plant, famous for its manufacturing and dominance of the rail sector for over two centuries.
The decision came when Bombardier lost a £1.4-billion (€1.6-billion) contract to build 1,200 rail coaches for southeast England's substantial Thameslink rail project. The winner was Siemens AG of Germany, one of Bombardier's most influential competitors in the rail business.
Bombardier has owned the manufacturing facility since 2001; however, trains have been made at the Derby site since 1839, putting it at the centre of Britain's industrial transportation revolution. Bombardier originally bought the Derby plant from Adtranz, the former rail division of Daimler Chrysler.
The Derby plant employs 3,000 people but its future is now in serious doubt as Bombardier's contracts to produce trains for National Express East Anglia, London Midland, and London Underground's Victoria line should be finished in September that would leave the Derby plant with only one contract to produce underground trains for London Underground.
The fear is that companies that supply Bombardier in the region could face problems and that more than 1,100 jobs would be lost in the supply chain.
Although Chris Williamson the local Labour Member for Parliament has gathered 50,000 signatures on a petition calling for the decision to be reversed the government and says it is inhibited by European Union laws that do not allow for social concerns to be taken into account. However, Both Germany and France major suppliers of trains, light rail and trams protect and subsidise their manufacturers, which can be detrimental to competitors not able to bid on a level playing field.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Communications Minister Lutfi Elvan said earlier on Tuesday evening the government would present to parliament the Internet law amendments once Gul had given his approval. Under the changes, permission for authorities to access Internet traffic data will require a court order. Telecom authorities will have to seek a court ruling within 24 hours if they block access to Internet material on privacy grounds. POLITICAL AMBITION Gul has made little secret of his desire to return to mainstream politics and is seen as a future leader of the AKP, an ambition his critics say leaves him too wary of conflict with Erdogan to act as an effective check on his power. "Gul wants to serve as president for a second term and has the desire to chair the AKP after Erdogan, so even if he does not fully agree, he is approving controversial regulations from the party," political analyst Atilla Yesilada said in a report. The battle for control of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), which appoints senior members of the judiciary, lies at the heart of a feud between Erdogan and influential U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Gulen, whose followers say they number in the millions, is believed to have built up influence in the police and judiciary over decades and leads a powerful worldwide Islamic movement from a forested compound in the United States. Erdogan blames Gulen, a former ally who helped cement AK Party support over the past decade, for unleashing the graft investigation he sees as an attempted "judicial coup" meant to undermine him in the run-up to local and presidential elections this year. The cleric denies any such role. Gul is seen as enjoying more support from Gulen's network of sympathisers, who have more pro-democratic and reformist views, than does Erdogan, whose stand on issues from abortion to alcohol they see as unnecessary interference in private life. But Gul has also been critical of the cleric's influence in state institutions in recent months, echoing Erdogan's warning that a "state within the state" will not be tolerated. In the eyes of Turkey's opposition, too weak in parliament to stall AKP bills, that opens the way for Erdogan to impose an increasingly authoritarian rule. "If the president approves the HSYK law, the judiciary will be bound completely to the government.
For the original version visit http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/18/us-turkey-government-idUSBREA1H1XL20140218?feedType=RSS
Monday, February 17, 2014
When I need a chuckle, I try to watch a sitcom or read the funnies. When my need for comedy is greater, then I invest my time in watching a complete movie. But when nothing but the funniest will do, I just observe the so-called real world around me.
The fact that this is really happening makes all the weird stuff all the more funny. To begin with, one tends to have a basic expectation of common sense from people. But the word common is misleading, as most often what we would classify as common sense is fairly uncommon.
What? Are you having trouble believing me? Well just turn to the weird news section of any newspaper or portal web site. Honestly, I used to think that all this was just made up. But I finally got to meet some of the people in these real world snafus and became a believer.
What would you say of the owner who claims that her cat dialed 911 thereby calling the police in time to save her life? Or the person who called Nine One One and claimed to not be able to find the Eleven button on his phone, thereby not being able to call Nine-Eleven, Or the bank robber who had his name prominently labeled across the motor bike helmet he wore to a bank? If I keep extending this list, you will soon get convinced that I am making this up as I am going along.
I am reminded of the words of Ernest Hemingway when we would sit on the steps of, whatever he sat on the steps of, and "see the world walk by." Well, Hemingway and I share that in common, except that it seems like I am more entertained than Hemingway was, as I do not just see the world walk by, but also make a fool of itself all along the way.
So, when you feel that things are all so sad and boring, just look around. Do not bother about reading a joke book. Instead consider reading a news paper. Knowing what happened when a duck went to the bar and asked for a drink can be fun the first time you hear it. Responding to a "Knock Knock" can be fun the first hundred times you hear it. But, a constant, evergreen, and "unreal" source of chuckles is the real world.
It is no wonder then that movie makers spend time, energy, and money in including bloopers at the end of all movies. Many people claim that these bloopers are more fun than the actual movie.