This week’s global news

Argentinian employees part-paid in bonds

Staff in Argentina are not receiving all of their salary in cash. From last
month 150,000 staff who earn more than $740 (£510) a month are having part of
their salary paid in one-year bonds, dubbed patacones, because Buenos Aires
state’s coffers are empty. Fast food chain McDonald’s is planning to accept the
bonds for a meal deal. The bonds should earn 7 per cent interest and be
redeemable in a year, but staff are in a rush to spend them fearing that they
will devalue.

Diversity scheme hits back at Toyota’s critics

Toyota in the US has launched a diversity initiative to fend off criticism
of racism. The car maker has set up a diversity advisory board and also plans
to set up a training centre on the east coast to recruit unemployed black and
ethnic minority people for the vehicle services industry. The policy will have
benchmarks and managers will receive incentives to ensure their commitment.
Toyota was criticised earlier this year for an advert which showed an image of
a gold Toyota as a tooth in a close-up of a black man’s mouth.

French staff told jobs are safe in Orangina sale

Cadbury Schweppes has agreed not to make any French employees redundant for
at least a year after last month’s acquisition of Orangina. The drinks and
sweet maker made the deal with French unions and work councils after its £443m
purchase of the soft drinks company from Pernod Ricard. Cadburys has also
guaranteed a year’s salary for any French workers made redundant at the end of
2002 as part of the deal, which will be examined by competition officials in

Recession fears as jobs are cut in Germany

Germany is on the brink of a recession, according to figures released in
July. The German government has twice scaled down its growth forecast, from
2.75 to 2 per cent and its present growth rate of between 1.5 and 2 per cent
also looks unrealistic. Dresdner Bank, the lorry manufacturer MAN and software
company Infineon were among companies that shed 17,000 jobs in July adding to
unemployment, which now stands at 3.86 million, 9.3 per cent of the workforce.

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