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Rishi Sunak has been urged by union leaders to launch a wage subsidy scheme to prevent a “tsunami” of unemployment when furlough comes to an end this autumn.

Demanding the chancellor follows the examples of other leading European countries to avert a looming jobs crisis, the Trades Union Congress said a continental-style system of “short-time working” wage support could be used in Britain to save millions of jobs from redundancy.

Under the system, companies struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic receive a government subsidy for the hours a worker is away from their job. Similar systems are used in Germany, Austria and France and have been extended in recent months because of the growing risks for companies and workers around the world amid the Covid recession:

Once, Gate Gourmet’s Sydney warehouse produced 30,000 in-flight meals a day, for 21 airlines. They catered around 200 flights a day. They are one of the largest airline catering businesses in the world, supplying over 200 airports. In Australia, they have warehouses in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

In Covid times, things are a little different. With flights in and out of Australia largely grounded, and domestic flight schedules slashed, they are selling direct to the public. And the price is right.

My “clearance meal pack” is $20 for 10 frozen meals, a regular meal pack of seven is $27. The “snack pack”, which promises 10 “assorted items” – from baggies of pork crackle to cans of cola – is a mere $12. You cannot pick the meals you’ll receive – though they have options for vegetarians.

Gate Gourmet aren’t the only ones getting on to the direct to consumer bandwagon – until 4 September, Qantas is having a stocktake sale, with cut-price mystery wine cases at $13.50 a bottle, as well as tiny wine bottles for $2.99 a pop:

Shares in Asia Pacific are suffering heavy losses in early Friday morning trade following some hefty falls on Wall Street on Thursday.


Aussie market slumps on the open following a significant decline for US stocks overnight. #ASX 200 -151pts or -2.5% to 5961. Worst day since 11 June for local stocks. All sectors are lower. Tech sliding most (-4.8%) #ausbiz

September 4, 2020

The Nikkei was down 1.4% in Tokyo, the Kospi was off 2% in Seoul but the heaviest losses are in Sydney where the ASX200 has plummeted by 2.5%.

The US losses were driven by a correction in the price of technology stocks which have soared to record highs because the coronavirus crisis has been seen as broadly positive for the sector.

We have a full story on that here:

A choral cry for help based on a song from the musical Les Misérables is being aimed at the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, by workers who have slipped through the government’s coronavirus income protection net.

Virtual choir of workers excluded from coronavirus support schemes sing ‘One Day More’ – video

A hundred people, including self-employed driving instructors, fitness teachers and health workers, have recorded a version of One Day More in a plea for the government to bail out people whose incomes have evaporated since lockdown but have received little or no emergency help.

Read the original article at The Guardian

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