December 21, 2018

Friday news roundup December 21, 2018

Friday news roundup December 21, 2018

Uber has lost its appeal against the ruling on its drivers’ rights. In 2016, a tribunal ruled that Uber drivers, Yaseem Aslam and James Farrar, were entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks, and minimum wage. The UK Court of Appeal has upheld this ruling, deeming Uber drivers to be classed as workers and not self-employed. Mr Farrar said: “It's time for Uber to come clean with all its stakeholders and abide by the decision of the courts.” Uber have, however, been granted permission to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court. Law firm, Gowling WLG, expects that the Supreme Court will uphold the decision. A partner at the firm said: “Yet another court confirms that the more a brand seeks to control the activities of the people that deliver that brand’s services to the public, the less likely those people are to be self-employed.”

Protesters in Sudan torch ruling party HQ over rising cost of bread and fuel. Bread prices in Sudan have more than tripled in the last year as the government stopped importing wheat from overseas. Bread prices increased from one Sudanese pound ($0.02) to three ($0.06), and fuel prices have risen after Sudan lost 75% to 80% of its all reserves when South Sudan became independent. Protesters have retaliated by setting fire to the ruling party’s office in Port Sudan, the state capital, as demonstrators called for the “overthrow” of the regime. Mahdi, who heads the Umma party, told his supporters: “The regime has failed and there is economic deterioration and erosion of the national currency’s value.” 

Europe’s consumer and retail stocks are facing biggest decline in 10 years. In many parts of Europe, political uncertainty has led to falling shopper confidence and the potential for rising interest rates. Warnings from ASOS, Sports Direct, and Next appear to show the odds are stacked against retailers. Ian Ormiston, a fund manager at Merian Global Investors in London, has said: “Although employment is growing and actually disposable income is growing, consumers don’t yet feel confident. Europe is still a fairly fragile market.” Weather has also been blamed for retailers’ woes, with Germany’s Zalando and Hugo Boss, and the UK’s Moss Bros attributing the unusually warm and dry summer to their disappointing earnings.

The Trump administration is being sued for discharging two HIV positive air force members. The administration is charged with violating the constitutional rights of two US Air Force members, as they were fired after testing positive for HIV. The soldiers were discharged before Thanksgiving, and had their appeals denied despite compliance with medical treatment and fitness assessments. The staff sergeant and senior airman were also supported by their commanding officers, according to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday. This is the latest challenge to the Trump administration’s policies that affect the LGBT community, including the plan to ban transgender people from the military. Scott Schoettes, the soldiers’ lawyer, said in a statement: “These decisions should be based on science, not stigma. There’s not a job in the world a person living with HIV cannot safely perform, including the job of soldier.”