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Commerce resents losses due to government mistakes



From time to time, the state makes some mistakes, and their consequences are borne by the business due to unnecessary losses. Now some voices are being raised in protest, demanding responsibility and compensation. The Customs Administration has introduced a system for paying duties through an electronic cash desk since the beginning of this month. The system did not work properly, as a result of which importers could not clear their goods through customs. A week later, customs restored the possibility of issuing a manual free order, paying duties in other ways, as before, and exempting from interest for late payment of customs duties. It took another week for the system to stabilize, and in the meantime, importers had to pay heavy fees for demurrage and container delays. Customs has asked custodians and shipping companies to waive such charges, but they are not required to do so, as the Supreme Court ruled in India International Airport Authority v. Grand Slam International of

First published: 23 Apr 2023 | 23:50 IS


Jeff Schell, CEO of NBC Universal, resigns after investigation



Jeff Schell, chief executive of NBCUniversal, is leaving the company after investigating inappropriate workplace relationships, Comcast’s owner has said. said in a statement on Sunday.

In a statement, Mr Schell said Sunday would be his last day and that he had “an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company.”

“I am truly sorry that I let down my colleagues at Comcast and NBCUniversal, they are the most talented people in the business and it has been a privilege to work with them for the last 19 years.”

Comcast’s brief statement did not say who will replace Mr. Schell at NBCUniversal, which he has been running since 2020.

But in a note to employees Sunday, Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts said Mr. Schell’s senior team would report to Mike Kavanagh, Comcast’s president, allowing Mr. Kavanagh to effectively control NBCUniversal.

“We are disappointed to be able to share this news with you,” Roberts wrote. “We built this company on a culture of integrity. There is nothing more important than how we treat each other.”

News of Mr. Schell’s departure from NBCUniversal carried the news across New York and Hollywood, where he ran Comcast’s sprawling entertainment empire. His departure comes at a pivotal time for Comcast, which is undergoing a difficult transition from its traditional TV and cable business to a future based on video streaming, broadband Internet and wireless services.

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, has gained momentum in recent months but remains small compared to its peers. Peacock has over 20 million paying subscribers, which is significantly less than either Netflix (232 million) or Warner Bros. Discovery offering HBO Max and Discovery+ (96 million). Some big media streaming companies are still losing money, and Peacock is no exception. The company lost about $2.5 billion last year and is projected to lose another $3 billion this year.

NBCUniversal also owns many cable networks, including Bravo, E!, MSNBC and USA, which are facing declining traditional TV audiences.

The investigation into Mr Schell began in recent weeks after a woman involved in the relationship filed a complaint, according to two people familiar with the investigation’s timeline. Mr. Schell continued to carry out his duties while the investigation was ongoing, holding previously scheduled meetings with lawmakers in Washington and working on other issues. Mr. Schell was also scheduled to attend a White House Correspondents Association dinner in Washington with his wife next Saturday.

The third-party law firm’s investigation was not widely known within Comcast until after it was completed, according to three people familiar with the matter. Mr. Roberts and Mr. Kavanagh called the executives who work directly with Mr. Shell this weekend to inform them that Mr. Shell is leaving and to inform them of the abrupt change in leadership.

Although Universal Pictures is not the largest film studio in Hollywood, it is quite successful. 2022 highlights include Jurassic World: Dominion and Minions: The Rise of Gru. This year started off even better: The Super Mario Bros. Movie approached $900 million in worldwide ticket sales in just three weekends in theaters, making it the company’s highest-grossing animated film of all time.

Other highly anticipated films due for release this year include the 10th installment of the Fast & Furious franchise and Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated Oppenheimer about the famed nuclear physicist. The studio has also launched a flexible distribution strategy that uses a phased rollout between theaters and its big-movie streaming service Peacock. For smaller films like Marry Me starring Jennifer Lopez and the horror film Pyro that came out last year, theatrical and streaming debuts are happening at the same time.

The company’s theme parks have also been a bright spot, with higher attendance and guest spending resulting in record profits last year. The company plans to open theme parks in Las Vegas and Frisco, Texas in the next few years.

The company will report quarterly earnings this week and it will be a conference call that will be scrutinized.

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Trader Joe’s Union Wins Oakland Store Election



Trader Joe’s, another grocery store, formed a union this week, making it the company’s fourth store to organize in the past year.

Trader Joe’s United said it won the election at the Rockridge Store in Oakland, California after a National Labor Relations Board ballot count in which workers voted 73 to 53 in favor of unionizing.

On the opposite coast, a union said it nearly lost the election in Essex Crossing Company in New York, which ended in a draw, 76 for and 76 against. A union must receive 50% of the votes plus one to become a workers’ representative.

The NLRB was unable to immediately confirm the results of the Friday morning vote, and Trader Joe’s could not be contacted for comment. The company will have a week to contest the results in Oakland.

If those results were to hold, four stores have joined the unions since last July, including stores in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Kentucky. Trader Joe’s contested the Kentucky vote, but the labor board has yet to rule on the case.

The California-based company has over 500 stores across the US. Although unionization is common among longtime grocers such as Kroger and Albertsons, none of Trader Joe’s stores had union representatives until the Trader Joe’s United campaign began in Hadley, Massachusetts.

Trader Joe’s United, which is not a member of an established national union, celebrated the victory in Oakland on Twitter late Thursday night. V statements At the Essex Crossing results, the organizing committee said “the fight to unionize New York trader Joe continues,” noting a separate union defeat last year at a Brooklyn store.

“We had endless conversations with our colleagues. We sent countless messages and phone calls and got together to celebrate and discuss the future we wanted to see at work,” the group said in a statement. “But the reality is that the barriers for workers to defeat corporations in this country are formidable.”

Organizational efforts have been underway at Trader Joe’s for years, but none of them came to fruition until early 2022, after the company announced a reduction in pension contributions for most employees. Several workers told HuffPost that the move shows the company has become less generous with its workforce and has lost its reputation as a good employer.

Trader Joe’s managed to stay unionless until last year’s Massachusetts election.

John Graham via Getty Images

Union workers are pushing for higher wages, guaranteed benefits and more control over scheduling and safety protocols.

Trader Joe’s opposed the organizing effort, and the union said store managers in New York and Oakland were urging workers to vote “no” ahead of their elections.

The union made a number of allegations of unfair labor practices, accusing the company of violating workers’ rights, including requiring union workers to remove their union badges. Trader Joe’s accused unionists of illegally forcing workers to vote union in Kentucky. The Labor Board has not yet ruled on these cases.

HuffPost reported last summer that workers at Trader Joe’s liquor store in New York were about to announce their union campaign when the company abruptly closed the store. The workers intended to join the United Trade Union of Food Industry and Trade Workers. Trader Joe’s denies closing the store due to workers organizing.

The company previously told HuffPost that it was “concerned” about the “tough legal relationship” the union could create, but said it would abide by the outcome of any election and deal in good faith with its workers.

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UK inflation falls but remains in double digits



Inflation in the UK slowed in March, but less than economists had expected, keeping the figure in double digits.

Consumer prices rose 10.1% in March from a year ago, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, slightly slower than the 10.4% in February. But economists had expected the country’s inflation rate to fall below 10 percent for the first time since the summer.

The UK’s annual inflation rate peaked at 11.1 percent in October, but its downward trend was broken in February when the rate rose unexpectedly. The Bank of England then raised interest rates for the 11th consecutive time in March to 4.25 percent.

A return to a downward inflation path may bring some relief to households and policy makers, but UK cost of living issues remain acute. Food prices rose about 19% year-over-year in March, with prices for bread, meat and cooking oils continuing to rise rapidly. According to the statistical agency, price inflation for bread and cereals is at a record high. Core inflation, a measure that excludes food and energy prices that tends to be more volatile, was 6.2 percent, the same as the previous month.

And headline inflation is still high compared to international peers. In the United States, the consumer price index slowed in March, up 5 percent from a year ago, while inflation in the euro area fell to 6.9 percent.

While inflation is expected to slow sharply later this year due to lower energy prices, uncertainty remains about how quickly price growth will return to the 2 percent target set by the central bank. Bank of England policymakers are closely monitoring private sector wage growth and service prices for signs of how much inflationary pressure is taking root in the economy.

On Tuesday, data from the statistical agency showed wages before bonuses rose 6.6% in the three months to February from the same period a year earlier, beating economists’ expectations. But there were also signs that the UK labor market was starting to lose ground, supporting bets that the Bank of England was close to stopping rate hikes. In February, private sector wage growth slowed slightly for the second straight month as job openings fell and more people returned to work, data showed on Tuesday.

Inflation in the services sector, which is heavily influenced by companies’ payroll costs, remained unchanged at 6.6%.

Bank of England policymakers will meet again in early May to decide whether to raise interest rates again.

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