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Middle East Edition
25th November 2021
Project to enhance textile industry employment in Jordan
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Design and Training Services Centre (GSC) have launched “Creative Jordan,” a two-year joint project “supporting the textile value chain to create employment and economic opportunities in Jordan.” The initiative is funded by the government of Italy and implemented by UNIDO in partnership with GSC. “Our aim through this project is to enhance income-generation opportunities and job creation in the textile and fashion value chains through capacity building and effective connections in the local market. I would like to emphasise how targeting women and improving their capacities can lead to an increase in their economic participation, and effective fostering of local women empowerment, and gender equality,” said Eleonora Banfi on behalf of Emilio Cabasino, the head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) Amman.
Saudi Arabia is working on 160 privatisations
Saudi Arabia is currently working on 160 privatisations, including assets in the education and logistics sectors, and intends to announce more in 2022, Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan has said at a financial forum in Riyadh.  The government is selling state assets to reduce pressure on capital spending and diversify revenues away from oil.
Jamie Dimon apologises twice after CCP joke
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has apologised twice after he joked that the Wall Street giant would outlast the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Speaking at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, a business forum, Mr. Dimon said that JP Morgan hoped to be in China “for a long time” and quipped: “I made a joke the other day that the Communist party is celebrating its hundredth year. So is JP Morgan. I’d make a bet that we last longer.” He added: “I can’t say that in China. They are probably listening anyway.” After issuing an initial statement of regret, Mr. Dimon penned another, more effusive, version acknowledging that he “should never speak lightly or disrespectfully about another country or its leadership.” Separately, the FT looks at how the Chinese operations of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are faring.
Qatari ministries sign MoU in occupational safety and health
Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Labor have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to exchange data about occupational safety and health in order to optimise workplace safety and reduce work-related injuries and deaths. The MoU aims to establish a general strategy to develop a legal framework related to occupational health and safety based on the National Health Strategy 2018-2022, and will constitute a strong basis for planning and approving labour policies and making evidence-based decisions to improve occupational safety and health to support workers and protect their rights, reports The Peninsula.
Data and insights can drive measurable diversity and inclusion
Writing for Arab Times, Mohammed Al-Shammari, the chief operating officer of property development giant Alhokair Group, says organisations must adopt a data and insights-driven approach to deliver effective initiatives to drive measurable diversity and inclusion at every level. “This will be a key catalyst and imperative factor in strengthening the future of an organisation,” he writes.
Tunisia workers' remittances grew by a third this year
Tunisia workers' remittances increased by 33% from January to November this year to 6.8 billion dinars ($2.35bn) compared to the same period last year, the country’s central bank said on Wednesday. Remittances were 5.1 billion dinars in the same period last year, according to the bank’s figures.
Citi to hire 100 people amid digital assets push
Citigroup is seeking 100 hires as part of a new push into digital assets inside the lender's institutional business. “We are focused on assessing the needs of our clients in the digital-asset space,” Citigroup said in a statement. “Prior to offering any products and services, we are studying these markets, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape and associated risks in order to meet our own regulatory frameworks and supervisory expectations.” Puneet Singhvi has been recruited to be Citi’s new head of digital assets inside the institutional-clients group, according to a staff memo seen by Bloomberg. He will report to Emily Turner, who manages business development for the broader group. “We believe in the potential of blockchain and digital assets including the benefits of efficiency, instant processing, fractionalization, programmability and transparency,” Turner said in the memo to staff. “Puneet and team will focus on engaging with key internal and external stakeholders including clients, start-ups and regulators. ”
Staff shortages threaten global airline recovery
Writing for Gulf Times, Pratap John reports on how ground-handling providers are facing severe skills shortages and challenges in retaining and recruiting staff as the global airline industry recovers from the pandemic. “Overcoming labour shortages, ensuring safety with strict adherence to global standards and digitalisation and modernisation will be critical to achieving a scalable restart,” says Monika Mejstrikova, IATA’s Director of Ground Operations, adding “Many skilled employees have left the industry and are not coming back. And recruiting, training and accrediting new staff can take up to six months. So, it is critical that we retain current staff and find more efficient ways of onboarding new personnel.”
Demand for recruiters is surging
Demand for recruiters has exploded and recruiting firms say it is harder than ever to hire for their own ranks. Postings for recruiter positions have more than doubled since the start of the year, according to recruiting software company iCIMS.  “There are not remotely enough recruiters to fill the demand that’s out there,” said John Arbolino, managing director at Boothroyd & Co., which recruits recruiters in the finance industry. “Everyone and their mother out there in corporate America wants recruiters.” The average number of monthly U.S. job postings for recruiters fell at the start of the pandemic but has more than doubled since February 2020 to nearly 148,000 in September, says job search platform ZipRecruiter. Jonathan Lydon, head of recruiting at Silicon Valley-based autonomous-vehicle start-up Nuro, says many employers are launching in-house recruiting teams. Outside recruiting firms that collect 20% to 30% in fees on new hires’ first-year salaries are often too expensive for the number of people that companies need to hire right now, Mr. Lydon said.
Tesla employees in Germany plan works council
The IG Metall trade union has said seven employees at Tesla's new plant near Berlin will elect a works council to represent their interests. "A works council ensures that the interests of the workforce have a voice and a weight. This is in line with the democratic work culture in Germany," said Birgit Dietze, IG Metall district leader in Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony. The factory will employ 12,000 workers, although only about a sixth of that number have been hired so far, meaning the election of a works council will not take place soon, IG Metall said. The union is to choose an election committee as a first step towards setting up a works council, on November 29th. Tesla is offering pay 20% below the collectively bargained wages offered at other German automakers, sources have told the union, and the US company is also overhauling conventional contracts in the German car industry by offering packages with stock options and bonuses rather than predetermined holiday pay.
Coal miners in Bosnia halt work in protest against lower wages
Miners at Bosnia's seven coal mines stopped work on Tuesday to support colleagues who are protesting in Sarajevo against what they claim are government violations of work and pay regulations. The government of Bosnia's autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, which owns the Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH) power utility, proposes to restructure indebted coal mines as part of a plan to switch gradually from coal to renewable energy sources. The seven coal mines owned by EPBiH currently employ about 7,200 workers and it is planned to cut that number to 5,200.  The restructuring plan was agreed by both sides in May, but Sinan Husic, the president of the Federation miners' union, says the the EPBiH has now imposed new working regulations that violate the collective bargaining agreement and cut the miners' basic wage.
Amazon workers urged to strike on Black Friday
German trade union Verdi has urged workers to strike at three different Amazon locations to coincide with this week’s Black Friday discount shopping event. Strike action is scheduled to begin tonight at Amazon's shipping centres in Rheinberg, Koblenz and Graben, and the union said further action was being prepared at other locations. The strike action is part of an international campaign against perceived exploitation at retail groups. Germany is Amazon's biggest market after the United States.

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