SURGE SEEN IN SELF-EMPLOYMENT
A surge in self-employment is the result of people doing part-time odd jobs to avoid unemployment rather than a genuine increase in entrepreneurial zeal, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The self-employed have risen by 300,000 since spring 2008 to 4.14m – the highest since records began in 1992, representing 14.2 per cent of all employment. Over the same period, the number of employees in work has fallen by 700,000. John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economic adviser, said the rise was “obviously good news” because it helped to keep the lid on unemployment and was an important source of private sector jobs to offset public sector cuts. But the new self-employed looked more like “an army of part-time odd-jobbers” than the vanguard of a resurgence in enterprise culture.
UNILEVER STAFF SET TO RESUME STRIKE ACTION OVER PENSION PLAN
This week will see fewer jars of Marmite and Pot Noodles roll off the production lines as disgruntled workers at Unilever down tools for the second time in just over a month. The consumer goods conglomerate – hitherto seen as an employer in the classic paternalistic tradition – has angered workers with plans to close the final salary pension scheme.
BEAM BUYS LAST INDEPENDENT IRISH WHISKEY DISTILLERY
Ireland’s last remaining independent whiskey distillery has passed into foreign ownership following completion on Tuesday of a $95m takeover of Cooley Distillery by the US spirits group that owns the Jim Beam and Teacher’s Scotch brands. Beam, which also owns the Canadian Club brand, plans to invest as much as $9m this year in a bid to drive sales of Cooley’s Kilbeggan, Greenore, Connemara and Tyrconnell whiskey brands.
REVOLT OVER LABOUR’S RAID ON ITS LOCAL PARTY ASSETS
Labour is forcing local parties to hand over their headquarters buildings, enabling it to shore up its precarious finances. The move allows the party, which has a deficit of millions of pounds, to raise loans against the properties. It has caused unrest in constituency offices, which have been told that they will be thrown out of Labour unless they agree to sign over their assets.
MILLIONS BLOWN PAYING WIND FARMS TO CLOSE
Wind farms are receiving millions of pounds to shut down when the weather is too windy. Dozens of onshore facilities shared £25m last year, a 13,733 per cent increase on 2010, after a particularly blustery year, according to the figures released by National Grid.
The Daily Telegraph
IKEA SHOULD BE SPLIT UP, SAYS EX-CEO
IKEA has become too big and should be broken up, the former chief executive of the world’s number one furniture retailer has said. Anders Dahlvig, the flat-pack pioneer's boss from 1999 until 2009, said IKEA faced the prospect of slowing growth and rising costs.
STOBART SEALS CONTROVERSIAL PROPERTY BUY FROM DIRECTORS
Transport group Stobart has completed a controversial £101m property deal with directors Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart. Under the terms of the deal, Stobart will acquire a portfolio of 18 properties from W.A. Developments, a company owned by Mr Tinkler and Mr Stobart, in return for £5.2m in cash, £7.2m in Stobart shares and taking on £88.8m of debt linked to the properties. The total consideration is £101.2m.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
WIKIPEDIA TO GO DARK OVER ANTIPIRACY BILL
Wikipedia will black out the English language version of its website today to protest antipiracy legislation under consideration in Congress, the foundation behind the popular community-based online encyclopedia said. The website will go dark for 24 hours in an unprecedented move.
KRAFT TO CUT JOBS
Kraft Foods said it plans to eliminate about 1,600 positions in North America this year as it works toward splitting into two separate companies. The company also raised its 2011 estimates. It now expects full-year operating earnings of at least $2.28 a share on organic revenue growth of 6.5 per cent, compared with its November guidance for operating earnings of at least $2.27 on six per cent organic revenue growth.