German Unions, Employers Stake Out Battle Lines

Tensions rose between unions and employers in the Germany’s key metalworking sector Wednesday, as the two sides prepare for a showdown over pay and conditions beginning next week.

The IG Metall union — which represents 3.9 million workers in the metalworking and electrical sectors — is planning to stage a series of warning strikes next Monday to ratchet up the pressure on employers.

The union is demanding wage increases of six percent and the right to temporarily switch to a 28-hour work week.

The walkouts — limited to a number of hours — are part of the traditional sabre-rattling that accompanies the negotiations which, given the economic importance of the sector and the size of the union, act as a benchmark for many other sectors and set the tone for labour relations nationwide.

IG Metall’s north German division will call for “several hours of walkouts at more than 140 firms” between Monday and the next round of talks with employers on January 18, the union said in a statement.

It will hold demonstrations in the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and the city-states of Bremen and Hamburg.

“We want to know from the employers where we are by the end of January,” IG Metall regional chief Meinhard Geiken said.

If bosses refuse to budge, further strikes including 24-hour walkouts will follow, he warned.

Employers are especially resistant to the idea of allowing workers to switch to part-time hours with only limited impact on wages.

Gesamtmetall employers’ federation director, Oliver Zander, told news agency DPA the demand would be “unfair and discriminatory” against those who have previously moved to part-time work under less generous conditions.

The demand was also “illegal”, he argued.

Company bosses presented a legal opinion seen by DPA Wednesday, which they believe shows that the strikes themselves would also be against the law.

IG Metall believes its part-time work demands and the strikes are legal.


Face Off 2015: Nigerian Celebrities Set For Basketball Friendly

Face OffTop Nigerian celebrities are teaming up to play basketball and compete with a top Nigeria Basketball league team in a friendly game.

The annual event tagged Face Off is a creative blend of basketball, music, dance and all round entertainment facilitated by intensive media coverage as a medium to drive key social values among young Nigerians.

The organisers say it is also a movement to revive Nigerians’ interest in basketball as an
“absolute urban sports genre”.

The 2015 edition of the basketball event would feature a host of A-List Nigerian celebrities vs. the popular basketball team ‘Lagos Islanders’ on November 27, at Landmark Centre, Lagos.

Celebrities that will be playing include, Sound Sultan, Tuface, Darey, Burna Boy, MI, Peter (PSquare), Kaffy, Iyanya, Jimmie, Praiz, N6, Vector and many more.

Although the main ‘Celebrities vs. Islanders’ game is scheduled for 7PM, the event starts by 5PM and will also feature other games like, Celebrities vs. Basketball Veterans, 3-point shooting competition, free throw competition, and a Slam Dunk contest.

Fans of Face Off have been encouraged to purchase tickets online. Free tickets will also be won in a competition on the official Facebook and Instagram pages of the event.

Face Off is a product of Playcenter Ltd in partnership with Lagos Islanders and produced by Tobems Media Ltd.


FACEOFF: Are The Confab Delegates Distracted?

faceoff_profileAlthough the National Conference has gone through three weeks, issues about the welfare of the delegates continue to arise. Most recently is the issue of the cost of food. A simple issue one might say but it sparked some level of discuss.

Does this give credence to the demand in some quarters that the delegates shouldn’t have been paid a stipend so that they can focus on issues bedeviling the nation?

On this edition of Face Off, legal practitioner, Ahmed Akanbi and another legal practitioner, Benson Enikhuomehin, go head to head in this heated debate.

FACE OFF: Efforts Of Government In 2013, Laudable Or Not?

A legal practitioner and spokesman of the Lagos chapter of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Taofeek Gani in his opening statement on Face Off, commended the Goodluck Jonathan administration for trying its best despite a “militarised opposition.” “The type of unfortunate opposition that is not good for the polity to develop,” he added.

While Taofeek Gani commended the administration’s overall efforts in 2013, spatial analyst, Ayobami Oyalowo, who was a second guest on the programme disagreed with Gani’s assertions, adding that 2013 was a turbulent year for the nation, no thanks to the current leadership.

Restricting Social Media

[highlight]Social Media has come to be a daily routine in the world and has further broadened the term ‘Global Village’ ascribed to the world in terms of technology.[/highlight]

But it is of the view that the Social media networks can spell doom for one or an entity sometime depending on your views.

On Face Off today, our host Nneota had two IT Specialists, Tolu Ogunlesi and Gbenga Sesan to further enlighten viewers on why or not social media should be restricted.