ICYMI: Tens of thousands of railway workers are set to quit their jobs just after midnight tomorrow night unless they can get better working conditions from their employers. Unions representing mechanics and conductors have been locked in negotiations with the railways, with little sign of progress.
Here are some of the areas where business leaders and economists expect disruption:
Of course, all these disruptions are exactly the point. America’s economy can’t fully function without trains or the people who run them, but engineers and conductors say they’re at breaking point. They often work 14 days in a row. They have no sick days, no fixed weekends, and are penalized for missing work, even if it’s for a doctor’s appointment or a family emergency. These conditions fuel a high turnover rate, which puts additional pressure on workers.
NUMBER OF THE DAY: 4.13 billion dollars
THE NEW KING
King Charles, after more than 70 years of waiting, finally ascends the throne. This is the ultimate promotion. But his former house staff may not be so lucky.
Many staff members, according to the newspaper, had assumed that they would follow the king to his new home. Instead, they received a letter from the king’s chief aide saying their jobs were under threat.
“Everyone is absolutely livid, including the private secretaries and the senior team,” a source told the Guardian. “All the staff have been working late every night since Thursday, only to end up with this.”
Of course, there’s no good time to hear you’re about to be fired, but it didn’t help that the notice came at the same time church services were being held for the Queen. .
The union representing royal household workers called the decision to announce redundancies during the period of national mourning “nothing short of heartless”.
While some personnel changes were expected, the “magnitude and speed” at which potential layoffs were announced were “unresponsive in the extreme”, union general secretary Mark Serwotka said in a statement.
Oh, and in case anyone forgot: the UK is in the midst of its worst cost of living crisis in a generation, with double-digit inflation, a looming recession and many people face a winter in which they will have to choose between eating and heating their home.
King Charles, on the other hand, has just inherited a fortune (the value of which is kept secret, because…reasons) which is not subject to UK 40% inheritance tax.
MY TWO CENTS
It’s unclear at this point just how involved Charles himself would have been in the staff reshuffle at home. But he’s clearly a public relations failure early in his reign, and he’s not the only one getting attention this week.
None of this would be a big deal for, say, an American president, who is both head of state and head of government. But for the British monarch, pageantry is pretty much all you do. Charles has had a lifetime to prepare for it, under the guidance of a mom who was a great master at being cool, and yet he still can’t hold the landing.
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