This really is a huge story impacting 30,000 doctors across Nigeria and one I would have missed were it not for a post on H5N1. Via the Nigerian Tribune. Doctors’ strike: Nigerians are dying —Uduaghan. Excerpt:

DELTA State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has described the death of Mr Moses Solomon as one of the losses that the nation has witnessed as a result of the ongoing strike, embarked upon by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA). Uduaghan stated this during a condolence visit to the Commissioner for Works in Delta State, Funkekeme Solomon, who lost his younger brother, Mr Moses Solomon, in Warri, the Delta State capital. The deceased was a civil servant in the Delta State Civil Service before his death at the age of 49.

Uduaghan in his address stated that it was important for the NMA to call off the strike, while the Federal Government looks at the issues at stake. According to the governor, the death of Mr Solomon was a sad reminder of the number of people dying everyday, as a result of the NMA strike, stressing that some of the deaths were avoidable if the doctors were to be on duty.  “The circumstance behind his death is part of the reasons we are appealing to my professional colleagues to suspend the strike. If doctors were not on strike, it is possible he would have been alive,” he said, adding: “We know there are challenges and a lot is been done to deal with them.

It looks like the strike is only impacting the public health care system although doctors did respond to the recent bombings in Kaduna and Kawu and are still providing some level of emergency care. Unfortunately for most Nigerians access to private health facilities would be severely limited.

Via CBC News. Bombardier CEO Guy Hachey retires amid 1,800 layoffs. Delays in the development of the CSeries have cost the former CEO his job along with 1,800 others. Excerpt:

Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin said Hachey led aerospace during an important period and thanked him for his contributions. Effective immediately, the heads of all segments will report to Beaudoin. They are Lutz Bertling at Transportation, Eric Martel at Business Aircraft and Mike Arcamone at Commercial Aircraft. The head of the new Aerostructures and Engineering Services business segment will be appointed in the next few weeks. Some aerospace functions and the customer services division will be absorbed into the three aerospace units, generating unspecified cost savings.

Spokeswoman Isabelle Rondeau says the change will result in the layoff of 1,800 back office functions such as finance and human resources across the world, or 4.8 per cent of Aerospace’s workforce of 37,000. The 1,800 jobs to be lost are on top of another 1,700 job cuts announced last January, said David Chartrand of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. “I can say the conversations I’ve had indicate that union members will not be affected by this layoff. But nevertheless, one job lost is too many,” he said.

One of the interesting aspects of this story is that sanctions against Russia are not just hurting the target country but Bombardier Aerospace as well given that negotiations with Rostec for the purchase of 100 regional planes (worth $3.4Bn CAD) are now unlikely (see: Bombardier says economic sanctions against Russia could delay $3.4B project). Given the sanctions and Russia strengthening alliance with its BRICS counterparts they might well consider the very good alternatives to be found in Brazil.

A rather good series of blog posts on the Unorganised Sector in India and how social security might benefit them and the entire nation. Via IMFR Trust. What Ails Social Security for the Indian Unorganised Sector? Challenges in Design and Implementation. Excerpt:

Approximately 85% of India’s 460 million strong labour force are categorised as ‘unorganised sector’ workers. As the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) argues, the unorganised sector workforce does not enjoy three types of social protection – employment security (no protection against arbitrary dismissal), work security (no protection against accident and health risks at the workplace) and social security (health benefits, pensions, and maternity benefits). In the spirit of extending social security to the unorganised sector and keeping in mind long term demographic trends which indicate a rapidly ageing population and a non-declining unorganised sector workforce, the Government of India passed the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act (UWSSA) in 2008. The passage of the UWSSA also tied in with the introduction of several publicly provided, social security schemes in the insurance and pension sectors, the three predominant schemes being Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), a national health insurance scheme largely for the below poverty line population; Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY), a life insurance scheme; and National Pension Scheme – Swavalamban (NPS-S), a pension scheme specifically for the unorganised sector workforce.

The second blog can be found here.

Via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Job services overhaul worth $5.1 billion to benefit young job seekers and long-term unemployed. Excerpt then a prediction:

A $5.1 billion overhaul of the Government’s job services system to be unveiled today will include a raft of changes, including wage subsidies for young and long-term unemployed people. Details of the Government’s draft model and tender information for new five-year contracts, which would take effect in July next year, are expected to be released this morning.

“This new system will focus job service providers on getting people into work, it will cut the red tape, and it will free them up to use their initiatives and innovate in the ways they deliver programs,” Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker told the ABC’s AM program. “It’s going to deliver far better outcomes for job seekers and far better outcomes for employers.” Mr Hartsuyker says the system is designed to provide incentives to make sure unemployed people find and keep work. “Job service providers will be rewarded for getting people into work for periods as short as four weeks – so there’ll be four-week, 12-week, and 26-week outcomes,” he said.

This year’s budget set up a new subsidy scheme to encourage more businesses to hire unemployed workers over the age 50. That is also expected to be included in the model, along with new subsidies to support job seekers under the age of 30 and the long-term unemployed. Mr Hartsuyker says the total package will be $5.1 billion across three years.

The changes in support that will be announced by the Tea-Party-Tories today ignore the evidence on the ground. The best example, but there are many more include the evidence presented by Jeff Borland and Yi-Peng Tseng (via the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research) which the previous conservative government initiated demonstrated that the Work for the Dole scheme delivers poor outcomes for youth unemployment. In my own region the very successful Local Employment Coordinator positions were scrapped for the Work for the Dole scheme which will deliver less outcomes for regional Australia while driving up the cost to both the community and government in welfare.

Lay-Down Misère Prediction

Todays announcement is ideology over evidence and will deliver poor outcomes for unemployment while driving up the cost.

Welcome to my first official Sunday Thought piece where I try to finish off the week early on Sunday (AEST) with a thoughtful, philosophical or reflective piece from the week. Via the Philosophers Mail. Utopia series: the schools of the future. Excerpt from Capitalism:

There is at present a conspiracy of silence around the economic system we live within. We find it hard to change its bad sides (or defend its strengths) because we simply cannot understand how it works. Nothing captures this more than that we currently study maths when, in truth, we should really (from a very young age) study the one thing that maths is used for by 99% of the population: money.

In the Utopia, there would be extensive classes on the workings of Capitalism. One would study how profit occurs, why some areas of activity are much more profitable than others and how economic opportunities arise.

The aim would be to demystify the economy and to educate citizens to be realistic both about the opportunities they’ll have and the economic constraints they’ll face. Students would be taught to see that an economy is ultimately always the creation of society, not an act of God or nature. This is crucial since so much of how our lives pan out is broadly determined by the kind of economy we live in: why are there more jobs in nail bars than in therapy rooms; why do footballers make more money than brain surgeons and why do so many jobs have titles like assistant regional distribution executive, rather than carpenter or farmer? All this and more would be explained.

An important unit in this subject would be the study of change in society. What enables revolution (whether of a commercial, ethical or political kind) to occur? A great deal of attention would be paid to the fact that mostly our frustrations and disappointments do not directly lead to improvement. And yet – this point would be written up in large letters in every classroom – improvement truly is possible.

Under the heading of change, students would study material which, at present, is classed as history. They might look at the Chartist movement of the 1840s, the Russian Revolution or the Reformation, but from a totally practical point of view, as potential revolutionaries themselves. What lessons could one learn from each event? One would never (during one’s whole time at school) simply try to understand the past for its own sake. One would only ever investigate it as a series of case studies from which one was trying to extract useable wisdom.

It’s not enough to consider just future employment or technical unemployment without considering the ramifications of an increasing population. Here is a look at the 2012 revised population prospects which still put the future human number (median) at around 11-billion. Via the UN. Probabilistic Population Projections based on the World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. Here is the World Population projection but click through for lots of very good charts:


A boatload of asylum seekers (potentially refugees) that have been detained on an Australian Customs vessel for the past month are now being moved to a remote Western Australian facility. Government confirms 157 asylum seekers will be taken from Customs boat to Curtin Detention Centre. Excerpt:

The Government has confirmed it intends to send 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have held been on a Customs boat to Curtin Detention Centre in remote WA. The group of men, women and children left in a boat from India and have spent nearly a month in legal limbo on board the Customs ship, after being intercepted by Australian authorities. Previously the Government has only said it is taking the group to the mainland so Indian officials can assess whether they want to take them back.

The asylum seekers will be taken to Cocos Island and then flown to the Curtin centre. The office of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says it cannot reveal exactly when the group will arrive.

The ABC understands a charter flight was arranged to collect the group from Cocos Islands but the charter company’s plights are not monitored by flight tracking. Mr Morrison has insisted no asylum seekers who come by boat would reach the Australian mainland, but he has been forced to make an exception because India wants to interview them. Mr Morrison says the safest and most convenient way of doing that is in Australia, although he insists they will never be settled here.

In the end it turned out not to be the Tampa incident that some Tea-Party-Tories may have wanted. In terms of the real politik the Australian government has already moved on to the MH17 incident, or Operation Bring Them Home which is playing out well for them.


28 July 2014: Via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Indian consular officials to begin processing asylum seekers in Western Australia.