Friday news roundup October 26, 2018
Since 2016, Google has fired 48 people including 13 senior managers over sexual harassment claims. CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was taking a “hard line” on inappropriate behaviour, in a letter to staff. “We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action,” Pichai said. The New York Times reported that Android creator, Andy Rubin, had received an exit package of $90 million even though he faced allegations of misconduct, made by a female employee in 2013. Pichai however went on to say, “We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action.”
The Office of National Statistics has reported that the gender gap in the UK has dropped slightly this year to a low of 17.9%. Last year women were paid 18.4% less than men. The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) however, has dismissed the drop as “negligible” and if it continued to fall at that rate, it would still take half a century to achieve equal pay. Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC said: “The government needs to crank up the pressure on employers. Companies shouldn’t just be made to publish their gender pay gaps, they should be legally required to explain how they’ll close them.” The gender pay gap increases as age increases, with women aged 22–29 earning 1.3% less; however, after the age of 40 the gap widens to more than 10%.
The Fight for $15 movement in the US is campaigning for a higher minimum wage, collective bargaining, affordable health care, and social justice. Volunteers for the movement will canvass in 11 states before election day. The Fight for $15 has successfully raised minimum wages across the US, and the canvassers will include workers from nursing homes, fast food, health care, and janitorial services. Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union, which orchestrated the Fight for $15 said, “The fight for $15 and a union is a way to make a demand for the people who are working two and three jobs, [for them] to join together and have a seat at the table and bargain better jobs.”
The finance ministry in China has announced that 3 billion yuan ($432.05 million) a year will be allocated to provinces that offer more financing guarantees to smaller firms. Policymakers in China have recently implemented various measures to boost lending to smaller firms that form the backbone of the private economy following a decline in economic activity and intensifying US-Sino trade conflicts. The ministry stated that they will, “adopt a combination of rewards and subsidies to places where the policy guidance for expanding small and micro-firms’ financing guarantees and reducing their financing guarantee rates is strong.”