This week’s international news in brief

Strike over
pay deal could be hopeless cause

public-sector unions are planning to stage a one-day strike on 14 December in
protest at the government’s 2 per cent pay offer for next year. General and
civil service unions UGT, CSIF and CCOO are pushing for pay rises of at least 4
per cent, in line with the rate of inflation. But the Ministry of Public
Affairs said there is little chance of the government changing its mind. The
government announced its pay proposal at the end of September, allowing three
months for debate before the courts take a final decision on 31 December.


Havens must stamp out ‘harmful tax practices’

A document
has been published by the OECD as part of its drive to improve cooperation with
areas identified as tax havens. Framework for a Collective Memorandum of
Understanding on Eliminating Harmful Tax Practices sets out the steps that the
OECD is asking these jurisdictions to take in order to demonstrate a commitment
to transparency, non-discrimination and cooperation. It was sent to all 35
jurisdictions identified as tax havens in June.


UK CEOs’ wages still lag behind US counterparts

The pay
levels of chief executives in the UK have grown in recent years but still
remain far behind those enjoyed by CEOs in the US, according to research
published in the Economic Journal. The Prince and the Pauper report found that
CEOs in the US earn on average 45 per cent more cash compensation and 190 per
cent higher total compensation (including share options) than their UK

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Report finds room for improvement in training

regular access to training for a more heterogeneous workforce will be one of
the key challenges for European businesses, according to a report published by
the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.
It looked at the impact of flexibility on working conditions in the EU and
found that significant improvements in training methods could be made,
combining on-the-job learning and appropriate academic backgrounds.

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