Are you kidding me?
7 stories
·
0 followers

The Modi government just averted India’s biggest bank strike in decades

1 Comment
Bankers also want money

Two days before one million bank employees in India were to go on their longest strike in five decades, the Narendra Modi government saved its face by agreeing to work on an amicable solution by February—thus persuading them to call it off.

The strike called by the employees of public sector banks, which account for 75% of India’s bank operations, was to be held from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24.

“The six-day shutdown of the banking sector was the longest we had planned since 1966. We planned it in such a way that the four-day strike coincided with a Sunday and a public holiday,” AK Ramesh Babu, president of the Bank Employees Federation of India, told Quartz. While Jan. 25 is a Sunday, India’s Republic Day falls on Jan.26, which is a national holiday.

The workers, who are demanding better pay and working conditions, have been negotiating with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), a body comprising the top management representatives of banks. On Jan. 19, after two days of negotiations, the IBA agreed to amicably settle the matter by the first week of February.

“The government clearly felt the need to dissuade us from doing this,” Babu said.

A persistent problem

“If there is no satisfactory outcome, fresh dates for a four or five-day strike in February would be announced,” MV M V Murali, a convener for the United Forum of Bank Unions, said in a statement .  The public sector bank employees have also threatened an indefinite strike from Mar. 16 if a deal is not signed.

Public sector banks account for 77% in India account for 77 % of the total deposits in India, and in Mar. 2014, their total capital stood at Rs5,65,200 crore ($91.5 billion). While they command 72% of India’s banking market share, they often face government interference in their operations.

Tap image to zoom

Public sector bank employees, in the officer and clerical posts, want a 19.5% hike  increase in their salaries, but their pay masters, the IBA, is only willing to give them a 12.5% increase.

“In the eighties, joining a bank in India was similar to a Class-I employee of the central government. Today, we have one of the largest banking systems in the world, yet we are extremely underpaid and made to work over time,” Babu told Quartz.

Long march to revised salary

Bank employees have been demanding a wage hike since Oct. 2012 when their previous pay contracts expired. Since then, they have held frequent one or two-day strikes.

In January this year, the unions brought down their wage hike demand from 40% to 19.5% following negotiations between the bank employees and the IBA. In 2010, the IBA had revised wages by 17.5% for the 2007-2012 period.

“Their demands are genuine. There is a massive disparity in the pay scale in public sector banks as compared to private sector ones which clearly affects their efficiency and productivity,” said Abizer Diwanji, national leader for financial services at the consultancy firm Ernst & Young.

“We are willing to stretch it to a maximum of 19.5%. If we could come down from 40% to 19.5%, the management can increase it from 10% (the IBA’s initial offer),” 10%,” said another union leader, who did not want to be identified.

With operations at public sector banks being regularly disrupted, private sector banks in India have been steadily increasing their market share in recent times. Also, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), 4.36% of assetsheld by public banks are public banks had as much as 4.36%of their assets as non-performing, while the same was at 1.73% for private sector banks, signalling an urgent need for overhauling the system.

Tap image to zoom

“Public sector banks have lower profitability and productivity ratios than their private sector competitors. They have lost significant market share, and their asset quality is much weaker—in some cases worsening to grave proportions,” the RBI had said in May 2014.

While promising minimal political interference, the Modi government has said that it intends to reform India’s public sector banks. Perhaps it should begin by listening to the people who help run them.

This article is a part of Quartz India. For more, follow this link.
Read the whole story
iainwhyte
3332 days ago
reply
I love the irony of the photo leading this story.
Sydney, Australia
Share this story
Delete

Why exactly are we punishing young jobseekers?

1 Comment
It has been easy for older people to see themselves as particular victims of this budget. And I confess I never expected to see any government courageous enough to pick on Grey Power the way Tony Abbott's has. In his efforts to get people into the workforce, however, it's carrots for the old and sticks for the young.

A major goal of this budget is to increase everyone's ability to contribute to the economy: "everyone who can contribute should contribute." Contribute doesn't mean paying a higher rate of tax, of course, but taking a paid job.

"This budget is about shifting our focus from entitlement to enterprise; from welfare to work; from hand-out to hand-up." Don't you feel better already?

To this end, the budget cuts benefits to sole parents and stay-at-home mums, reviews the assessment of some younger recipients of the disability support pension and imposes "compulsory activities" on recipients under 35, cuts the benefit received by unemployed people aged 22 to 24 from the dole to the youth allowance, imposes a waiting period for benefits of up to six months on people under 30, reintroduces Work for the Dole and introduces a "restart" payment of up to $10,000 to employers who take on job seekers aged 50 or over who have previously been on benefits, including the age pension.

Get it? Older people want to work, but suffer from the prejudice of employers, so they're helped with a new and generous subsidy to employers, whereas the young don't want to work when they could be luxuriating on below poverty-line benefits, so they're whipped to find a job by having their benefits cut and their entitlement removed for six months in every year until the lazy loafers take a job.

Just how having their benefits reduced or removed helps young adults afford the various costs of finding a job - including being appropriately dressed for an interview - the government doesn't explain.

But anyone who can remember the controversial statements Abbott used to make as minister for employment in the late 1990s will know he has strong views about the fecklessness of youth and the need for a pugilistic approach to their socialisation.

Consider this from a budget glossy spin document: "The government is reinforcing the need for young Australians to either earn or learn. The changes will prevent young Australians from becoming reliant on welfare.

"Because we want new jobseekers, especially those leaving school and university, to actually look for work, income support will only be provided once a six-month period of job hunting has been completed."

And if it doesn't work the first time, give them six months on Work for the Dole, then keep repeating the dose until it does. If that doesn't get 'em off their arses, nothing will.

Really? Young Aussie adults are that lazy and lacking in aspiration? No shortage of jobs, just a shortage of effort that a monetary boot in the backside will soon fix?

The notion that our young people should either be "earning or learning" has intuitive appeal, but a moment's reflection shows it can easily be taken too far.

How does it help to starve a youngster to the point where they're prepared to undertake some pointless training course? Is it really smart to take a university graduate who's having a few months' wait to find a suitable job and force them into a taxpayer-funded course on driving a forklift truck?

We've been hearing a lot lately about the difficulty older people have in finding re-employment. I'm sure there's much truth to it, and the government has acted. But we hear much less about the way the young suffer whenever times are tough and employers become reluctant to hire.

Everyone thinks a policy of reducing staff numbers by "attrition" is a relatively benign response to an economic slowdown. Big staff layoffs are avoided. But few remember this transfers the burden from people already in jobs to those seeking jobs, particularly those leaving education. The annual entry-level intake is the first thing to go.

Before Abbott turned up with his punitive solution to a problem few people realised we had, the Brotherhood of St Laurence began campaigning to raise public awareness of rising youth unemployment.

Unemployment among those aged 15 to 24 shot up in the recession of the early '90s, reaching more than 380,000 in October 1992. But by August 2008 it had fallen to less than 160,000. That was immediately before the global financial crisis. Since then it has climbed back to about 260,000.

The rate of unemployment among 15- to 24-year-olds is 12.5 per cent, more than double the overall rate. This means they account for more than a third of the unemployed.

And it's not just more of them: over the past five years the average duration of unemployment for young people has risen from 16 weeks to nearly 29 weeks.

The funny thing is, the executive director of the Brotherhood, Tony Nicholson, doesn't find much evidence these people are happy to live on the dole forever. "They aspire to a mainstream life - to have a home, to have some sense of family, to belong. A key part of that belonging is the desire to have a paid job."

Maybe the problem is not enough jobs rather than not enough effort. If so, putting them on a starvation diet may not do much to help.
Read the whole story
iainwhyte
3569 days ago
reply
Hear hear.
Sydney, Australia
Share this story
Delete

What it's like to own a Tesla Model S - Part 2

1 Comment and 2 Shares
What it's like to own a Tesla Model S - Part 2

Part 2: Man VS. Motor

View
Read the whole story
iainwhyte
3582 days ago
reply
Awesome.
Sydney, Australia
Share this story
Delete

Comic for May 22, 2013

1 Share
Read the whole story
iainwhyte
3940 days ago
reply
Sydney, Australia
Share this story
Delete

Homeless man's A/B test of generosity based on faith

10 Comments and 21 Shares


Redditor Ventachinkway caught a photo of a homeless man conducting a clever exercise in behavioral economics disguised as an inquiry into the levels of spontaneous generosity as determined by religious creed or lack thereof.

When I passed him he proudly announced "The atheists are winning!" (i.imgur.com) (via Glinner)

Read the whole story
iainwhyte
3958 days ago
reply
Awesome
Sydney, Australia
popular
3959 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
8 public comments
CoffeeK8
3950 days ago
reply
Interesting.
sredfern
3958 days ago
reply
<3 no god
Sydney Australia
ksw
3958 days ago
reply
Brilliant.
Manhattan
yobink
3958 days ago
reply
winning
brittany
3959 days ago
reply
That's some brilliant fundraising psychology at work.
San Francisco
samuel
3955 days ago
Somebody suggested he's purposefully filling the Athiest cup to get extra coin out of the believers.
lywyn
3959 days ago
reply
It's seems not having to worry about heaven and hell gives you chance to be more charitable!? ps. Check out the 'peach' cups.
very large rock orbiting a sun
Gospodin
3959 days ago
reply
I eagerly await the results of this study normalized for the demographics of the target area.
Torei
kyleniemeyer
3960 days ago
reply
"The atheists are winning!" Not sure I've heard that anywhere else...
Corvallis, OR

Is It Worth the Time?

13 Comments and 56 Shares
Don't forget the time you spend finding the chart to look up what you save. And the time spent reading this reminder about the time spent. And the time trying to figure out if either of those actually make sense. Remember, every second counts toward your life total, including these right now.
Read the whole story
popular
3963 days ago
reply
iainwhyte
3963 days ago
reply
Sydney, Australia
Share this story
Delete
13 public comments
heracek
3959 days ago
reply
Stop wasting your time!
Prague, Czech Republic
cmg
3960 days ago
reply
New Meeting Handout
Birmingham, AL
bravejoe
3960 days ago
reply
Nice information!
Somerville, MA
noam87
3962 days ago
reply
And here I was not automating those pesky 1 second tasks based on misguided intuition... I've been a fool!
Toronto, Ontario
superiphi
3962 days ago
reply
when is it worth spending time to delegate or automate? PS: shows I was right to fight for almost 2 days to automate some of my data tasks though. Ha!
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
macjustice
3962 days ago
reply
Printing this one out.
Seattle
KieraKujisawa
3963 days ago
reply
It's amazing how true this is...
Fredericksburg, VA 22408 USA
internetionals
3963 days ago
reply
Nice! Now only I need is a scale for making things less error prone.
Netherlands
benzado
3961 days ago
If you have to take time to correct errors, that's really part of the time to do the task. So making something less error prone is really shaving time off the task, even if an optimist doesn't see it that way.
adamgurri
3963 days ago
reply
nice
New York, NY
chrishiestand
3963 days ago
reply
excellent reference
San Diego, CA, USA
acdha
3963 days ago
I'm disappointed that the alt text didn't mention personal productivity software…
Tlaloc
3963 days ago
reply
Sehr praktisch ...
Next Page of Stories