Workers recognise the importance of unions in protecting their rights | Gregor Gall

Despite a rise in unemployment, union membership has also increased, reflecting the need for collective actionAgainst all the odds, union membership rose in Britain last year for the first time in a decade. According to the annual statistical report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), membership for 2012 was 59,000 higher at […]
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Britain’s banking system is not a national asset. It’s a curse | Lydia Prieg and Heather Stewart

It’s not just the economy that has been skewed out of shape by our financial services sector – society has been tooEven after more than five years of traumatic financial and economic crisis, Britain’s banks are often still presented as a source of national strength that must be shored up by taxpayers and protected by […]
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Chinese steelmakers question Platts pricing data on iron ore

Chinese doubt follows raids connected to alleged manipulation of oil marketsConcerns about the accuracy of benchmarks published by price reporting agencies (PRAs) has spread to the iron ore markets with Chinese steelmakers questioning the reliability of indices from Platts.The China Iron & Steel Association and one of its largest members, Jiangsu Shagang, believe benchmark numbers […]
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Severn Trent bidders consider improved takeover offer

Consortium likely to offer about £21 a share after company’s results this week, but some investors said to want £23Severn Trent is bracing itself for an improved takeover bid worth £5bn after its swift rejection of an approach from a group of UK and international investors.The water company will report full-year figures on Thursday and […]
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Royal Mail is doing well in the public sector – why privatise it? | Michael Burke

A business generating profits on this scale is worth vastly more to government than the proceeds of a sell-offThere are now 403 million reasons why Royal Mail should not be privatised. Financial results for Royal Mail just announced show that operating profits in the latest 52 weeks jumped to £403m, from £105m in the previous […]
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Pressure and job insecurity felt by UK workers at 20-year high

Survey reveals British employees’ concerns over pay and their lack of control in the workplaceBritish workers are feeling less secure and more pressured at work than at any time in the past 20 years, with pay cuts and diminished control over their jobs among the biggest concerns, according to a national survey of employees’ wellbeing.More […]
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Eight ways in which social sector organisations can improve

Dame Mary Marsh outlines the findings of a government review into skills and leadership among charities and social enterprisesSocial sector organisations are aware of the need for continued development and taking on new ways of doing things to ensure we continue to deliver the high standards our beneficiaries deserve.Over the past six months I’ve been […]
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Never mind tax havens – the real hidden billions are in company coffers | Richard Seymour

We are in the middle of an investment strike, with UK companies sitting on hundreds of billions that could be the key to recoveryYou know how it goes in a recession: the rivers stop flowing, the factories collapse, the banks crumble and the crops dry up. Or, to put it in another more accurate way, […]
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Pedro Almodóvar’s Spanish disaster script is all too realistic

Director’s take on Spain’s economic jeopardy, I’m So Excited should remind the Rajoy government that the end is still in doubtA plane circles in the sky with a damaged undercarriage. The passengers get up to high jinks as they wait for the inevitable crash landing. A cast of call girls, gay cabin crew and a crooked […]
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UK service sector grows faster than expected

Forecast-beating Markit/CIPS PMI results boost hopes economy got off to steady start in second quarterHopes that Britain’s economy could be stabilising have been bolstered by data showing that services companies posted their strongest performance last month since the Olympics.Activity beat expectations with its strongest growth for eight months in the closely watched Markit/CIPS PMI survey […]
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