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Which companies in Europe slashing their workforces because of COVID-19?

Unemployment across Europe has risen due to the coronavirus pandemic with airline companies and the ..

Unemployment across Europe has risen due to the coronavirus pandemic with airline companies and the automobile sector making some of the biggest job cuts.

About 397,000 people in the European Union lost their jobs in April, according to data from the EU’s stats agency, released in June.


The EUs jobless rate rose to 6.6% in April, from a 12-year low of 6.4% the previous month, according to Eurostat. It’s the biggest rise in several years.

While furlough schemes (putting workers on temporary leave and the government paying a percentage of their salaries) across Europe are helping some shield from the economic impact of COVID-19, others are less fortunate.

Here is our updated list of companies in Europe making job cuts either due to — or in part because of — COVID-19.

United Kingdom

British Petroleum (10,000 jobs)

PAUL ELLIS/AFP or licensors
BP plans to axe 10,000 jobs worldwidePAUL ELLIS/AFP or licensors




British oil giant BP announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs on Monday due to the coronavirus crisis, which has slashed the global demand for oil and in turn its prices.

In a company-wide email seen by Euronews, CEO Bernard Looney confirmed the job cuts saying that most would be made this year.

He said: “We will now begin a process that will see close to 10,000 people leaving BP – most by the end of this year.

Though the email did not specify where the redundancies would take place, it said: “The majority of people affected will be in office-based jobs. We are protecting the frontline of the company and, as always, prioritising safe and reliable operations”.

Mulberry (25% of workforce)

Even luxury fashion cannot catch a break from coronavirus. Mulberry, the UK brand known for its leather goods and costly handbags said on Monday it would cut 25% of its worldwide workforce.

t’s expected most of the jobs will go in the UK, where the vast majority of its staff works.

British Airways (up to 12,000 jobs)

British Airways announced at the end of April it would cut up to 12,000 jobs from its 42,000-strong workforce due to coronavirus wreaking havoc on the travel industry.

The airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), said it needed to impose a “restructuring and redundancy programme” until the demand for air travel returns to pre-coronavirus levels.

Job losses could also occur at IAGs other airlines, Iberia and Vueling in Spain and Irelands Aer Lingus, CEO Willie Walsh has warned.

EasyJet (around 4,500 jobs)

Britain’s low-cost airline EasyJet has also announced it would be cutting jobs in the wake of coronavirus.

The company said 30% of its workforce would be slashed, which amounts to about 4,500 jobs.

Ryanair, which is set to cut 3,000 jobs – 15% of its workforce – with boss Michael O’Leary saying the move is “the minimum that we need just to survive the next 12 months”

Virgin Atlantic (3,000 jobs)

The firm has announced it will cut more than 3,000 jobs in the UK and end its operation at Gatwick Airport.

Ireland

Ryanair (about 3,000 jobs)

Budget airline Ryanair said it would cut 15% of its workforce globally, about 3,000 jobs, after the pandemic grounded flights.

PAUL FAITH/AFP
Budget airlines have also been impacted by COVID-19.PAUL FAITH/AFP




Chief executive, Michael OLeary, took a 50% pay cut for April and May and has now extended it until the end of March next year.

O’Leary said the measures are “the minimum that we need just to survive the next 12 months.”

France

Renault (15,000 jobs)

French automobile maker Renault announced at the end of May it would axe 15,000 jobs worldwide as it tries to ride out the drop in car sales, which have plummeted even further due to coronavirus.

4,600 of those jobs would be cut in France. However, that figure may be lower since Renault secured a government loan of €5 billion and would in exchange restructure its factories.

FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP or licensors
People in France protest the Renault cuts.FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP or licensors




French President Emmanuel Macron told employees at two Renault factories their future was guaranteed.

Renault, which is partly owned by the French government, was under pressure even before COVID-19 hit and posted its first loss in a decade last year. It is also trying to ride out the spectre of Carlos Ghosn.

The job cuts come as part of its plans to find €2 billion in savings over the next three years.

Airbus (up to 10,000 jobs)

The European planemaker said in May it could cut up to 10,000 jobs amid the coronavirus travel slump. Job losses could also stretch to its UK plant.

Airbus said in April it would cut the number of planes it built by a third as airlines cancelled or delayed orders as flights have been grounded.

Germany

Tui (8,000 jobs)

Anglo-German travel firm Tui announced on May 13 it would cut 8,000 jobs worldwide.

In a half-year financial report, it said the pandemic was “unquestionably the greatest crisis the tourism industry and Tui has ever faced.”

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP or licensors
The Anglo-German company has had to halt trips.ODD ANDERSEN/AFP or licensors




In March, Tui was granted a loan of €1.8 billion by the German government to help see it through the pandemic.

Thyssenkrupp (3,000 jobs)

Industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp announced on March 25 it would cut 3,000 jobs in its steel unit in Germany as part of a COVID-19 “crisis package”.

The group, which makes elevators and submarines, said it had reached a deal with Germanys powerful IG Metall union to cut 2,000 jobs over the next three years and another 1,000 by 2026.

Lufthansa (22,000 jobs)

German airline Lufthansa said on June 11 it would cut 22,000 jobs due to travel disruptions caused by the coronavirus. The airline said half the job cuts would be in Germany.

CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP or licensors
Half of the Lufthansa jobs are expected to go in Germany.CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP or licensors




Spain

Nissan (2,800 jobs)

The Japanese carmaker announced on May 28 that it would close its factory in Barcelona, which employs around 2,800 people.

LLUIS GENE/AFP or licensors
Protesters in Barcelona set tyres alight.LLUIS GENE/AFP or licensors




Protests erupted with people burning tyres to try and fight for their jobs.

The firm said coronavirus had piled pressure on the company and that it would focus on its markets in Asia and North America.

Scandinavia

Scandinavia Airlines (5,000 jobs)

While Scandinavia Airlines (SAS) also announced temporary job cuts in March, a month later it said 5,000 jobs—almost half the total number of employees—will lose their jobs permanently.

The company, part-owned by Sweden and Denmark, said that the potential reduction of the workforce would be split with approximately 1,900 positions in Sweden, 1,300 in Norway and 1,700 in Denmark.

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Aliku Ogorchukwu: Wife of Nigerian killed in Italy demands justice

The wife of a Nigerian street trader who was killed in Italy has told the BBC she is seeking justice following his “painful death”.

Aliku Ogorchukwu, 39, was reportedly selling handkerchiefs in the seaside town of Civitanova Marche on Friday when he was chased and beaten to death.

A 32-year-old Italian has been arrested on suspicion of murder and robbery.

A video circulating online shows a man on top of Ogorchukwu, punching him with his bare hands.

None of those who witnessed the broad daylight attack appeared to intervene.

“This is a form of wickedness I don’t know,” Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity Oriachi, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa.

Ms Oriachi said she had received help in coming to terms with her husband’s death but was tired of “talk”. Now, she was only interested in justice, she insisted.

Her family had lived in Italy for a long time, she said, stressing that her husband had never sought any trouble.

The killing has sparked outrage in the local community, including Nigerians, who took to the streets over the weekend and are planning another demonstration soon.

The Nigerian government has asked Italian authorities to quickly “bring the perpetrator of the heinous act” to justice.

Suspect not released

The suspect – a white man named as Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo – has been ordered to remain in jail as the investigation continues.

His defence lawyer told the media the suspect had said he was sorry and that there was “no racial element” involved.

A police investigator said Ogorchukwu was attacked after the trader’s “insistent” requests to the suspect and his partner for spare change.

The partner, identified as Elena D, told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that Ogorchukwu had touched her arm, but that did not bother her.

Ms Oriachi now wants to see the suspect “face to face”, to understand why he killed her husband, the family’s lawyer told the Associated Press.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62384560

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Ukrainian widow confronts Russian soldier accused of killing her husband

In the very first days of this invasion a 62-year-old unarmed civilian was shot dead on a village street outside his Ukrainian home. His name was Oleksandr Shelipov.

Three months later and the captured Russian soldier accused of killing him is in Kyiv being tried for a war crime.

Standing up in court to confront the 21-year-old defendant on Thursday was Kateryna Shelipova, the widow of the man killed.

Did he repent his crime, she asked?

The Russian tank commander, Vadim Shishimarin, replied that he admitted his guilt and asked for her forgiveness. “But I understand you won’t be able to forgive me,” he added.

Kateryna Shelipova hadn’t finished. “Tell me please, why did you [Russians] come here? To protect us?” she asked, citing Vladimir Putin’s justification for the invasion of Ukraine.

“Protect us from whom? Did you protect me from my husband, whom you killed?”

The soldier had no answer to that.

This landmark trial marks the first time a Russian serviceman has been put on the stand for war crimes since the invasion of Ukraine was launched in February.

And perhaps such raw encounters are what such trials are about, at least in part. Forcing a soldier – who ignored all the rules of war – to face up to exactly what he has done and the suffering he has caused.

Sgt Shishimarin has pleaded guilty and Ukrainian prosecutors are asking for him to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

On Wednesday, Ms Shelipova told me she actually felt sorry for the soldier, but she could not forgive him for this crime.

She heard the shots that killed her husband, then saw Sgt Shishimarin through her gate – holding his weapon.

Five minutes later she says she saw her husband’s body: “He was dead with a shot in his head. I started screaming very loudly.”

“The loss of my husband is everything for me,” Ms Shelipova said, adding: “He was my protector.”

‘It killed him’

Recalling the events of 28 February, Vadim Shishimarin said he and a small group of other Russian soldiers had become separated from their unit and hijacked a car in order to return to it.

“As we were driving, we saw a man. He was talking on the phone,” the defendant said.

He claimed that he hadn’t wanted to fire the fatal shots, that he was following orders – threatened by another soldier if he refused to do as he was told.

“He said I would be putting us in danger if I didn’t. I shot him at short range. It killed him,” the 21-year-old tank commander told the court.

Interestingly, his defence lawyer – appointed by the state – told me that no Russian official has been in touch with him, including from its defence ministry.

There is no Russian embassy in Kyiv these days, so no contact from there either.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman yesterday told the BBC that the Kremlin has “no information” about this case.

All in all, it feels rather like the young soldier has been abandoned to his fate by the commanders who sent him to war and continue to deny that their forces commit crimes here.

We also heard from a second Russian soldier who witnessed the killing in February and later surrendered to Ukrainian forces.

Ivan Maltysev, another slight and young-looking 21-year-old, told the court how the Russian soldiers spotted Oleksandr Shelipov while they were driving the stolen car.

Mr Maltysev claimed that Vadim Shishimarin was then ordered to shoot the victim because he was on the phone.

“Vadim didn’t do it. So the soldier, whose name I don’t know, turned round in the car and shouted that Vadim had to carry out the order, or we would be informed on.

“At this point, we were almost alongside the civilian and, under pressure, Vadim fired. He fired three or four rounds.”

Ukraine has so far identified more than 11,000 possible war crimes committed by Russia.

Moscow has denied its troops have targeted civilians, but investigators have been collecting evidence of possible war crimes to bring before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

This trial is Ukraine’s chance to prove, beyond doubt, that a Russian soldier killed a civilian with no regard for the rules of war.

Its prosecutors know they are in the spotlight, proceeding so quickly, and in the middle of a war.

That is why they are keen to be as transparent and thorough as possible – so that this is not seen as a show trial, but part of a vital quest for justice.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-6151164

 

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Stop matching lone female Ukraine refugees with single men, UK told

The UN refugee agency has called on the UK government to intervene to stop single British men from being matched up with lone Ukrainian women seeking refuge from war because of fears of sexual exploitation.

Following claims that predatory men are using the Homes for Ukraine scheme to target the vulnerable, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) told the Guardian “a more appropriate matching process” could be put in place to ensure women and women with children are matched with families or couples.

The suggestion from the global refugee agency follows reports that Ukrainian refugees, predominantly women and sometimes accompanied by children, are at risk in the UK of sexual exploitation.

Under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, British hosts must link up with Ukrainian refugees themselves, leaving tens of thousands of people to resort to unregulated social media groups to connect.

A government-backed matching service run by the charity Reset offers to match UK hosts with refugees but has been operating for just over a week. Those who want to move to the UK must have a sponsor before applying for a visa.

In a statement, the UNHCR said there was a need for adequate safeguards and vetting measures to be in place against exploitation, as well as adequate support for sponsors. “[The] UNHCR believes that a more appropriate matching process could be put in place by ensuring that women and women with children are matched with families or couples, rather than with single men.

“Matching done without the appropriate oversight may lead to increasing the risks women may face, in addition to the trauma of displacement, family separation and violence already experienced,” a spokesperson said.

Leading refugee charities raised their concerns about the Homes for Ukraine scheme in a letter to Michael Gove, the minister in charge of the scheme. Louise Calvey, the head of safeguarding at the charity Refugee Action, told the Observer it was at risk of being a “Tinder for sex traffickers”.

One 32-year-old woman from Bakhmut, Ukraine, who has been searching for an appropriate person to match in the UK, wrote that she had received suggestive messages from men on Facebook’s Messenger app. “I was approached by one older guy from London who said that I would have to share a bedroom with him, and was asked if I was OK with that,” she said in an email seen by the Guardian.

The Sunday Times reported this week that a journalist posing as a 22-year-old Ukrainian woman from Kyiv found that within minutes of posting a message on the largest Facebook group for UK hosts she was inundated with inappropriate messages.

Some men lied about having several bedrooms in their one-bed homes while another proposed sharing a bed, writing: “I have a large bed. We could sleep together.” Another sent a voice note that said: “I am ready to help you and maybe you can help me also.”

In its statement, the UNHCR also raised concerns about the repercussions should the original UK host prove a potential threat to the safety of the refugee, and the six-month minimum duration on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

“UNHCR believes that appropriate training and information are needed to ensure that hosts make an informed decision when applying to become sponsors. Housing a stranger in an extra bedroom for an extended period is not, for some people, sustainable,” the spokesperson said.

There is growing public anger over the length of time that Ukrainians are being forced to wait before being given visas from the Home Office amid the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since the second world war.

Priti Patel, the home secretary, apologised on Friday for the time it had taken for Ukrainian refugees to arrive in the UK under two visa schemes, after figures showed only 12,000 had so far reached Britain.

Reports on Tuesday claimed Gove had been accused of bullying Home Office officials by Patel’s permanent secretary, Matthew Rycroft.

Asked to respond to the UNHCR’s request for an intervention on sexual exploitation of Ukrainian women, a government spokesperson said: “Attempts to exploit vulnerable people are truly despicable – this is why we have designed our Homes for Ukraine scheme to have specific safeguards in place, including robust security and background checks on all sponsors, both by the Home Office and local authorities.

“Councils must make at least one in-person visit to a sponsors property and following guests arrival, they have a duty to ensure the guest is safe and well.

“We have also partnered with the charity Reset Communities and Refugees to fund and provide a matching service for sponsors and refugees to ensure that matches made are suitable, safe and successful. This service will vet eligibility, assess needs, and provide training for sponsors to ensure they

ensure they can support the people they host.”

Asked to confirm or deny whether there had been a complaint that Gove had bullied staff, the spokesperson added: “Humanitarian schemes set up in record time by the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities working closely together are helping thousands of Ukrainians find safety in the UK.”

 

Read from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/13/stop-matching-lone-female-ukraine-refugees-with-single-men-uk-told

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