Approximate decrease in rates for ocean container shipping from Asia to Europe just since August, from already low levels, falling below variable costs for most of the carriers. In response, giant Maersk Lines this week announced plans to raise rates in these lanes 10-11% on Nov. 1, and to generally take out yet more capacity by greater use "slow steaming," in which ship sailing speeds are reduced. Will its competitors follow suit? That is always the question in this industry.
Approximate number of workers at Foxconn facility in Taiyuan city that were involved in a riot, leaving forty hospitalized, dozens arrested and some physical damage. The factory is a supplier to Apple. Details are evolving, but the immediate catalyst seems to be security guards – who are detested by the workers - breaking up a fight in the workers' dorm and more workers joining the fray. Underlying that are issues with squalid, crowded conditions, abuse by security guards, incorrect overtime pay and more.
Number of jobs classifications motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson now has at its York, PA plant, versus 62 under its previous contract with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. That allows it much more flexibility in moving workers around, according to a Wall Street Journal article last week on how HD, like many other manufacturers, continues to get more Lean with regard to labor. 16% of Harley's global workforce in its plants are now temporary employees, up from 11% at the end of 2009 and growing.