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  1. Am I the only one that would pay more for electronics to improve these poor people's working conditions? BTW, This is proof that it is NOT an apple issue. (Like some of you believe) Report: Mass Suicide Threats at Xbox 360 Plant On Jan. 2, over 300 employees at a Foxconn plan in Wuhan, China threatened to throw themselves off a building in a mass suicide. Foxconn makes Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony products. These workers manufacture Xbox 360s. According to Chinese anti-government website China Jasmine Revolution (via Watch China Times), the workers were protesting denied compensation they were promised. On Jan. 2, the workers asked for a raise. Foxconn told them they could either keep their jobs with no pay increase or quit and get compensation. Most decided to quit with compensation. However, the agreement was supposedly terminated, and the workers never received their payments. Website Record China reported that the uproar the incident actually caused Xbox 360 production to be temporarily suspended. The mayor of Wuhan intervened to talk down the group down, and on Jan. 3 at 9pm, the group of 300 decided not to jump, ending what could have been a deadly game of chicken. Suicides at Foxconn made major news in 2010 when over a dozen employees committed suicide, leading to Foxconn installing suicide prevention nets at some of its facilities. In 2010, Kotaku asked Microsoft about Foxconn and the reported abuses. Microsoft's Phil Spencer said at the time, "Foxconn has been an important partner of ours and remains an important partner. I trust them as a responsible company to continue to evolve their process and work relationships. That is something we remain committed to—the safe and ethical treatment of people who build our products. That's a core value of our company." Kotaku is following up with Microsoft over this latest incident.
  2. Are Bay Street's golden days coming to an end? Eoin Callan, Financial Post Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 Some of Canada’s banks are already exploring ways to change their reward structure for investment bankers to avoid creating incentives for dealmakers to hastily arrange risky deals and walk away after collecting their bonuses.ReutersSome of Canada’s banks are already exploring ways to change their reward structure for investment bankers to avoid creating incentives for dealmakers to hastily arrange risky deals and walk away after ... When Ed Clark receives his multi-million-dollar bonus next week, the chief executive of TD Bank will face immediate pressure to return the money. Bay Street's best-paid chieftain is being singled out by shareholders after three of his peers handed back their bonuses at a time when bank bosses around the world are being publicly shamed for dragging the globe into the worst recession in decades. The pressure from investors comes amid growing signs that a deep shift is afoot in the way executives and investment bankers on Bay Street are paid that could have a lasting impact on the industry. Shareholders, regulators and politicians are beginning to push for far-reaching changes in incentives in a bid to mitigate risk and help avoid the catastrophic failures that have plunged the global banking industry into crisis. Some of Canada's banks are already exploring ways to change their reward structure for investment bankers to avoid creating incentives for dealmakers to hastily arrange risky deals and walk away after collecting their bonuses. BMO Financial is in the midst of a thorough overhaul of the way it compensates bankers. The review has not been publicly disclosed, but bankers have been told to expect significant changes after similar moves at international banks such as UBS, which has introduced delays and clawback provisions for bonuses. But other banks are likely to be caught flatfooted as Ottawa prepares to sign up to a set of international guidelines on pay for bankers that are being drawn up in advance of an upcoming summit of the Group of 20 nations in London. Canada's top banking regulator said Wednesday that a consensus was emerging at a special three-day meeting in Paris "to set out sound practice guidelines on compensation for the consideration of both the [Financial Stability Forum] and the G20." "There is [a] general agreement that supervisors have a role to play in assessing whether institutions meet and implement sound practices for compensation," Ms. Dickson added by e-mail from Paris. Reform of compensation practices at banks to mitigate risk is likely to be one of the handful of tangible reforms to emerge from the summit of world leaders, said John Kirton, director of the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto "There are not many areas of consensus ... compensation is an easy one," said the professor. But policymakers stress that Canada is likely to stop well short of moves by Washington to cap pay or other more interventionist approaches that have accompanied part nationalizations in the U.K. Instead, the approach in this country is likely to involve the supervisor taking into account of compensation schemes when evaluating the level of risk at Bay Street banks and determining the amount of capital they must hold in reserve. This is seen as a more subtle way of pressuring banks to reform their compensation schemes. While a link between compensation and capital requirements would be unwelcome on Bay Street, several bank compensation experts said Wednesday it could create an opening for them to tackle huge wage bills, which are a major cost for financial institutions. But the awarding of hefty bonuses amid a recession induced by the financial system has also triggered a wider social debate about executive compensation, as oft-repeated arguments about retaining "talent" wear thin. While these "moral and ethical" views are not shared by many investors who are critical of executive compensation, they see an opportunity to make common cause. Michel Nadeau, director of the Institute of Governance of Private and Public Organizations, said he was shocked by the level of compensation Canadian bank boards had awarded to executives amid a bruising year for investors. "There is something wrong in that world," said the former executive at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Quebec pension fund. Shareholders are also not shy about enlisting the muscle of securities regulators in pushing pay up the agenda. A shareholder group representing many of the country's largest investors cited executive compensation as its "number one" priority for 2009 during a private meeting this week with Ontario Securities Commission, according to documents obtained by the Financial Post. The group also drew the attention of enforcement officials to a probe launched by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who said Wednesday he was investigating "secret" moves to pay bonuses early at Merrill Lynch. While the investors group did not make allegations of wrongdoing, a person familiar with the discussions said there were precedents for securities regulators investigating compensation matters. The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, which represents investors with $1.4-trillion of assets under management, has also met with the chairmen of each of Canada's top banks. "Compensation is the big issue right now," said Stephen Jarislowsky, a major shareholder in Canadian banks who manages $52-billion. But his immediate focus is next week's bonus award to Mr. Clark, who was paid a $12.7-million bonus by TD last year, making him Bay Street's highest paid executive. "Ed is the worst offender," said Mr. Jarislowsky.
  3. Les Mohawks de Kahnawake ne perturberont pas le début des travaux grâce à une entente avec Québec. Ils recevront des terres en compensation de la perte de celles situées sur le trajet de l'autoroute. Pour en lire plus...
  4. Harmonisation de la TPS et de la TVQ Vers une entente Ottawa-Québec La Presse Canadienne 29/04/2009 17h11 Le conflit entre Québec et Ottawa entourant l'harmonisation des taxes de vente fédérale et provinciale ainsi que la compensation monétaire l'accompagnant pourrait être en voie de se régler. Les conservateurs de Stephen Harper ont, contre toute attente, appuyé aujourd'hui une motion du Bloc québécois voulant que le gouvernement fédéral négocie de bonne foi avec Québec en vue d'harmoniser la TVQ avec la TPS. Cette motion prévoit une compensation de 2,6 milliards $ pour le Québec et insiste également sur le fait que Québec continuerait à administrer les taxes harmonisées, comme le souhaite le gouvernement de Jean Charest. Cependant, si l'on en croit les paroles du ministre fédéral des Finances, Jim Flaherty, les conservateurs ont plusieurs réserves sur cette motion pour laquelle ils ont malgré tout voté. Après le vote, le ministre a soutenu que le gouvernement appuyait l'idée générale de la motion, mais pas nécessairement les détails. Cette précision du ministre a laissé perplexe le chef bloquiste Gilles Duceppe, qui a fait valoir que la motion était claire, unanime, et que les conservateurs allaient devoir respecter les engagements qu'ils avaient pris en votant pour la motion. Par ailleurs, M. Flaherty a indiqué qu'il avait discuté en après-midi avec son homologue québécois, le ministre des Finances Raymond Bachand, et que la première étape de la négociation consistait en des discussions sur les aspects techniques de l'harmonisation.
  5. Québec attend toujours une compensation pour la crise du verglas Il y a 19 heures QUEBEC - Dix ans après la crise du verglas, Ottawa n'a toujours pas versé la somme de 435 millions $ réclamée par Québec comme participation financière fédérale en guise de compensation pour les sinistrés. "Il s'agit d'un contentieux avec Ottawa qui est toujours actif", a admis le ministre des Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes, Benoît Pelletier, alors qu'il était interrogé à l'Assemblée nationale par le député péquiste de Lac-Saint-Jean, Alexandre Cloutier. Ce dernier a souligné que le gouvernement fédéral a indemnisé l'Alberta en 2005 à la suite d'inondations, la Colombie-Britannique à la suite de feux de forêt en 2003 et le Manitoba suite au débordement de la Rivière Rouge en 1997, mais qu'il n'a toujours pas répondu aux requêtes du Québec qui réclame 435 millions $ en indemnités pour la crise du verglas qui a paralysé une bonne partie du Québec en janvier 1998. "Dans ce temps de soi-disant fédéralisme d'ouverture, les contribuables québécois font l'objet d'une autre chicane Ottawa-Québec", a commenté le député Cloutier. Le ministre Pelletier a expliqué que le premier ministre Jean Charest avait soulevé le problème avec son homologue fédéral Stephen Harper récemment. "Nous suivons la situation de très près", a-t-il dit. Cette crise du verglas a frappé le Québec pendant plusieurs semaines au début de 1998. On avait dénombré 22 décès à l'échelle du Québec, sans compter les gens qui sont morts en tombant de leurs toits durant le déglaçage. Un millier de pylônes électriques et 24 000 poteaux de bois sont tombés et 120 lignes de transport d'électricité ont été endommagées. Quelque 997 000 clients d'Hydro-Québec avaient été privés de courant au plus fort de la crise, certains pendant plus d'un mois. On a ouvert 454 centres d'hébergement pour accueillir des milliers de personnes sinistrées.