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Thousands of Starbucks workers go on a one-day strike on one of the chain’s busiest days of year

Thousands of Starbucks workers go on a one-day strike on one of the chain’s busiest days of year

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Thousands of Starbucks workers go on a one-day strike on one of the chain's busiest days of year

Workers at more than 200 U.S. Starbucks locations walked off the job Thursday in what organizers said was the largest strike yet in the 2-year-old effort to unionize the company’s stores.

The Workers United union chose Starbucks’ annual Red Cup Day to stage the walkout since it’s usually one of the busiest days of the year. Starbucks expects to give away thousands of reusable cups Thursday to customers who order holiday drinks.

The union said it was expecting more than 5,000 workers to take part in its “Red Cup Rebellion.” Workers were expected to picket for part of the day and visit non-union stores the rest of the day, the union said. Around 30 stores also staged walkouts on Wednesday.
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Juniper Schweitzer, who has worked for Starbucks for 16 years, said she loves the company and its ideals but believes it’s not living up to them.

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“They have promised the world to us and they have not delivered,” said Schweitzer, who was picketing outside her Chicago store on Thursday.

Frequent promotions like Red Cup Day or buy-one-get-one-free offers put added stress on workers, who she said have no ability to switch off mobile orders or otherwise control the workflow.

“I mean, you can imagine the Starbucks orders. Decaf grande non-fat, three-and-a-half Splenda mocha with no whip. Multiply that by 100 and you have just drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, drink,” she said. “We just have basically an infinite amount of drinks and we’re understaffed and we’re underpaid and we’re sick of it.”
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Edwin Palmasolis, a Starbucks employee for more than two years, joined the picket line Thursday in front of his New York store. His store voted to unionize last year, but so far Starbucks and the union haven’t started bargaining. He thinks a contract would help improve working conditions at his busy Manhattan store.

“It’s been more of a downgrade than an uphill for us. It’s been exhausting trying to deal with their retaliation and not much of a change has been made in the past year,” he said.

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Thursday’s strike was the fifth major labor action by Starbucks workers since a store in Buffalo, New York, became the first to unionize in late 2021. Workers at 110 stores walked out last year on Red Cup Day; most recently, a strike in June protested reports that Starbucks had removed Pride displays from its stores.

Arlene Geiger, left, holds a sign supporting Starbucks workers outside a Starbucks on New York’s Upper West Side, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. Thousands of workers at more than 200 U.S. Starbucks stores plan to walk off the job Thursday in what organizers say is the largest strike yet in the two-year-old effort to unionize the company’s stores. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

But the strikes have had little impact on Starbucks’ sales. For its 2023 fiscal year, which ended Oct. 1, Starbucks reported its revenue rose 12% to a record $36.0 billion.
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Starbucks said Thursday that many of the stores with striking workers remained open, staffed by supervisors, managers and employees who chose not to strike or visited from nearby stores to pick up additional hours.

“We have nearly 10,000 stores open right now delighting our customers with the joy of Red Cup Day,” the company said.

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At least 363 company-operated Starbucks stores in 41 states have voted to unionize since late 2021. The Starbucks effort was at the leading edge of a period of labor activism that has also seen strikes by Amazon workers, auto workers and Hollywood writers and actors. At least 457,000 workers have participated in 315 strikes in the U.S. just this year, according to Johnnie Kallas, a Ph.D. candidate and the project director of Cornell University’s Labor Action Tracker.

Starbucks opposes the unionization effort and has yet to reach a labor agreement with any of the stores that have voted to unionize. The process has been contentious; regional offices with the National Labor Relations Board have issued 111 complaints against Starbucks for unfair labor practices, including refusal to bargain. Starbucks says Workers United is refusing to schedule bargaining sessions.
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Starbucks noted that it has started bargaining with the Teamsters union, which organized a Starbucks store outside of Pittsburgh in June 2022. But the two sides have not reached a labor agreement. An employee answering the phone at the store Thursday said it wasn’t participating in the strike. 

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Stocks on steroids, as FDI prospects help KSE-100 Index jump over 60,000 hurdle

Stocks on steroids, as FDI prospects help KSE-100 Index jump over 60,000 hurdle

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Stocks on steroids, as FDI prospects help KSE-100 Index jump over 60,000 hurdle

The Pakistan Stock Exchange made another history as soon as the traders hit the floor on Tuesday as the benchmark KSE-100 Index achieved another landmark by crossing the 60,000 barrier, after Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates signed multiple memorandums of understandings (MoUs) a day earlier.

Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed several multi-billion dollar MoUs in a range of areas on Monday to boost economic and strategic cooperation between the two countries, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said in a video message.

The prime minister, who is on visit to the UAE, said the bilateral economic and strategic relations had entered into new era of bilateral cooperation with the signing of the MoUs.

By 10:59am, the KSE-100 Index was recorded at 60,659.14 against the previous closing of 59,811.34, representing a gain of 847.80 points, or 1.42 per cent.

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There are a number of factors contributing to the ongoing surge in stocks but the foreign currency inflow will be the major boost. The foreign direct investment (FDI) will not only revive the economy by expanding the existing businesses but also creating ones while providing the much-needed job opportunities to the people who are hit hard by the prevailing cost-of-ling crisis sustained by the record-high inflation.

At the same time, the FDI will enhance the share prices of listed companies especially in energy and related sectors – an eagerly awaited trend already being witnessed in the market after years of undervalued status.

Currently at 22pc, the interest rates, the highest in Pakistan’s history, have crippled the economy amid the rising cost of doing of doing business, as the investors either opted to take refuge in the US dollar – the safe haven currency – or transferred the money abroad, which weakened the rupee to level never witnessed before in its history.

However, it was the PTI government which initially pushed ahead with the currency devaluation as its policy statement while accusing Dar of keeping the rupee strong artificially.

Meanwhile, the IMF’s insistence on expanding the tax net and enhance revenue collection mean black market or informal sectors will slowly become less profitable as a result of documentation of economy.

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It is going to help Pakistan attract more and more people for investing in stocks, as the country currently has one of the worst ratio of population in the world when it comes of the investment in the shares market.

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ADB okays $180m for water supply, solid waste management in Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur

ADB okays $180m for water supply, solid waste management in Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur

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ADB okays $180m for water supply, solid waste management in Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $180 million to improve water supply and solid waste management in Punjab, as the urban centres in Pakistan lack infrastructure to deal with the population influx.

Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur are the two cities selected for these funded projects, as the Bangkok-based financial institution says the funds would help improving the lives of 1.5 million people.

The details show that the funds would be utilised for expanding and modernising the water supply scheme in Rawalpindi and improving solid waste management system in Bahawalpur.

Rawalpindi – the ever expanding urban centre especially due to the arrival of large number of people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – is one those cities in Punjab where the underground water is the main source of supply by using tube-wells.

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Thus, it is not a surprise that the water table is going down at an alarming rate with a worsening quality, causing serious health problems and diseases, as the pipelines are affected by erosion.

Moreover, the adverse effects of climate change leading to reduce amount of the rains mean that used water resources are not replenished with Pakistan already facing the challenge of water scarcity.

On the other hand, absence of solid waste management and recycling services are also causing a plethora of problems – from choking sewerage system to pollution and other health hazards.

About the overall urban development projects in Punjab, the ADB website says the Pakistan government has requested support from the ADB to plan investments and design service delivery models for selected cities which include Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi, and Sargodha.

“The project readiness financing (PRF) will complement ADB’s assistance to the urban development in Pakistan, including a transaction technical assistance facility designed to support feasibility studies and explore innovations to improve the quality of urban services.”

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Lack of public transport amid population bomb? India vehicle sales climb 19pc in festive season

Lack of public transport amid population bomb? India vehicle sales climb 19pc in festive season

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Lack of public transport amid population bomb? India vehicle sales climb 19pc in festive season

Vehicle sales in India rose 19 per cent during a 42-day festive season, boosted mainly by strong demand for two wheelers in rural areas, an auto dealers’ body said on Tuesday.
Indians generally make big-ticket purchases on items like vehicles during the festive season, which kicked off in mid-October this year and ran till Nov 25.

The latest figures come as an earlier report mentioned that India and Pakistan have witnessed a fourfold increase in the number of vehicles since 2000, as South Asia remains the global pollution hotspot.

Moreover, this rise also reflects a fact that the two countries lack an effective public transport system to serve the urban centres as the massive rural population has no such access to the service which many believe is a human right in today’s age.

However, India has been making giant strides when it comes to mass transit network in different cities across the country while the process started in Pakistan by the PML-N in 2012 was not only halted but reversed and discouraged by the PTI government at the cost of people.

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The result can be seen in the number of cars, bikes and Chingchis – the noise-making machines – on our roads where commuting between your home and workplace has become a major headache and expansive exercise amid the current cost-of-living crisis triggered and sustained by a record-high inflation

Meanwhile, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) data showed that two-wheeler sales in India surged about 21pc in the period to 2.9 million units,

“Record-breaking sales were reported in several categories, with rural areas particularly contributing to the surge in two-wheeler purchases,” FADA, which provides monthly data on dealer sales, said in a statement.

Two-wheeler makers’ sakes to dealers inched closer to pre-pandemic volumes in October due to strong festive demand and discounts on entry-level models, data showed earlier this month.

Sales of three wheelers advanced 41pc, while those of passenger vehicles (PVs) climbed around 10pc to 547,246 units, FADA added.

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“Tractors, which saw an 8.3pc decrease in sales during Navratri, made a remarkable recovery, ending the festive period with only a 0.5pc decrease,” FADA said.

Tractor sales, a key indicator of rural economy, slipped 0.4pc following a 10pc fall in September.

Caution remains around PV inventories as original equipment manufacturers continue to push further dispatch, keeping inventory rate at near all-time highs, FADA said, adding that sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were the most-demanded. 

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