World briefs

Different continent, same problems • Different continent, same problems part 2 • Wal-Mart strikes back

Different continent, same problems

Brussels
— Skilled workers are having difficulty moving around the EU to find work because of cultural, bureaucratic and linguistic obstacles, according to a new report from the University of Manchester. Barriers like a lack of “recognition of foreign qualifications” could prove detrimental to the economy, states the report. To address the problem the European Commission is creating a Europass CV to help workers communicate their skills and qualifications. It will include a Europass Language Passport, which will allow people to describe their language skills, plus three other documents to promote themselves to employers.

Different continent, same problems part 2

Tokyo
— Japan’s heavy dependence on part-time workers is dividing well-paid, well-trained workers in permanent employment, from poorly paid workers with little job security, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “Employment flexibility is being achieved through an increased percentage of non-regular workers,” whose numbers jumped from 19 per cent to 29 per cent of the workforce in a decade, said the report. “The increasing dualism is creating a group, concentrated among young people, with short-term employment experience and low human capital.”

Wal-Mart strikes back

Bentonville, Ark.
— Tired of complaints about his company, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott went on the offensive against the retailing giant’s critics last month. The public relations campaign included a full-page ad in more than 100 U.S. newspapers and a new website called www.walmartfacts.com, intended to deliver the “facts” about the company. Scott said it was time for the public to hear the “unfiltered truth” about Wal-Mart, and time for the company to stand up on behalf of its workforce. “For too long, others have had free rein to say things about our company that just aren’t true,” Scott said. “Our associates are tired of it and we’ve decided it’s time to draw our own line in the sand.”

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