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South Korean Doctors Walk Off Jobs, Demand Better Conditions

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A significant portion of South Korea’s medical workforce, consisting of over 7,800 interns and residents, have resigned from their positions to protest against working conditions and policy directives.

The mass resignation, emblematic of deep-seated discontent within the medical community, has thrust the nation’s healthcare system into turmoil.

Ryu Ok Hada and Park Dan, representative of the disenchanted junior doctors, highlight a chorus of voices calling for improved pay, reduced work hours, and increased recognition.

The doctors, often hailed as a crucial cog in South Korea’s esteemed medical infrastructure, decry being overworked, underpaid, and unheard.

The protests stem from a broader dissatisfaction with the status quo, with hospitals witnessing a surge in canceled surgeries and turned-away patients amidst the walkout.

Such disruptions underscore the pivotal role junior doctors play, particularly in emergency rooms, intensive care units, and operating theaters, where their absence is acutely felt.

At the heart of the issue lies the grueling work hours endured by South Korean doctors, who routinely face shifts lasting over 36 hours, far exceeding international standards.

Park Dan, head of the Korean Intern Resident Association, emphasizes the demanding workload, with doctors often exceeding 100 hours of work per week, all for meager compensation ranging from 2 to 4 million won ($1,500-$3,000) monthly.

The government’s response, marked by threats of arrest and license revocations, has only escalated tensions.

Despite orders to return to work, the doctors argue that such measures are unconstitutional and infringe upon their rights.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo’s assurances of extended hospital hours fail to address the core grievances raised by the medical community.

Central to the doctors’ demands are calls for legal protection from malpractice suits, equitable compensation, and structural reforms within the healthcare system.

While acknowledging the plight of their patients, doctors like Park Dan express the difficulty of navigating a system that prioritizes policy over practitioner welfare.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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IWD: Unity Bank Partners SkillPaddy to Train 1,000 Female Software Engineers

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Nigerian lender, Unity Bank Plc is partnering with SkillPaddy in its  “Count Her In” tech Programme focused on empowering no fewer than 1000 female beneficiaries in Software Engineering Training.

The IT skill development and empowerment initiative is intended to bridge talent supply gaps while providing individuals with the opportunity to meet their training goals and launch careers in the tech industry.

About 40 young girls will receive full sponsorship from Unity Bank in the special training initiative which was conceived as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day 2024.

With women making up just 33% of the tech-related workforce globally, this initiative seeks to boost women’s participation in the tech industry by delivering a sustainable, impact-driven programme that addresses gender disparity and deepens inclusion within the tech industry.

All beneficiaries of the programme will be trained on different aspects of software development and provided with mentorship and resources that they need to succeed, including learning life skills like critical thinking, communication, innovation & problem-solving.

Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun said the initiative aligns with the theme of the IWD 2024, #InspireInclusion, adding that empowering young women reflects the Bank’s commitment to driving inclusion, equality and diversity across industries.

She stated, “As a bank committed to fostering economic empowerment and gender equality, we are proud to partner with SkillPaddy on this initiative to contribute to the training and empowerment of 1,000 female software engineers. Through this programme, we are not only investing in the future of these talented women but also driving innovation and diversity within the tech industry. By providing access to skills training and mentorship, we aim to unlock opportunities and create a more inclusive and thriving digital economy for all.”

You may recall that in line with the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility, it also recently partnered with a software training provider, AltSchool Africa to sponsor female students to acquire specialist software development skills.

The International Women’s Day, IWD is a day set aside globally to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and reflect on action to accelerate gender equality. This year’s theme #InspireInclusion emphasises the importance of creating environments where all individuals, regardless of gender, feel valued, respected, and included.

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Kaduna Electric Implements 10% Salary Hike Amidst N110 Billion Debt Crisis

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Electricity - Investors King

Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (Kaduna Electric) has announced a 10% salary increase for its workforce, despite grappling with a debt of N110 billion and operational challenges.

The decision follows the dissolution of the company’s board of directors by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) due to its failure to settle the substantial debt owed within the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry framework.

Umar Hashidu, appointed by NERC as the company’s administrator under Section 75 of the Electricity Act, emphasized the strategic significance of the salary increment during a meeting with the management team.

Hashidu stressed the importance of boosting employee morale and enhancing overall company performance amidst economic uncertainties.

The salary adjustment is a proactive measure aimed at motivating staff in the face of prevailing economic challenges, noted Hashidu, acknowledging the pressing need to address the escalating cost of living crisis.

Despite Kaduna Electric’s struggles in meeting market obligations and complying with NERC performance indices, Hashidu expressed optimism in overcoming these hurdles through concerted efforts.

The announcement signals a period of transition and reform within Kaduna Electric, following the resignation of the former Managing Director, Yusuf Yahaya.

Despite the company’s debt burden and leadership changes, the salary hike reflects a commitment to prioritize employee welfare and maintain operational stability.

As Kaduna Electric navigates through its financial challenges and strives for improved performance, the salary increase serves as a testament to the company’s dedication to supporting its workforce amidst adversity.

It remains to be seen how this move will impact the company’s trajectory in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry landscape.

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UPS Announces 12,000 Job Cuts Amid Cost Reduction Plans

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United Parcel Service's (UPS)

Global logistics giant UPS has announced its decision to cut 12,000 jobs or 2.4% of its extensive 500,000-strong global workforce.

The decision comes as UPS seeks to achieve $1 billion in cost reductions, citing subdued demand and rising union labor expenses, as stated during its earnings call on Tuesday.

CEO Carol Tomé acknowledged the challenges faced in 2023, emphasizing the company’s commitment to focusing on controllable factors and fortifying its groundwork for future growth despite the adversities.

A UPS spokesperson clarified that the job cuts would impact less than 3% of the company’s total workforce and would not affect union-represented roles.

The reductions are expected to span across various regions and functions within UPS, with 75% of the cuts anticipated to occur within the first half of the year.

UPS’s fourth-quarter revenues for 2023 amounted to $24.92 billion, falling short of Wall Street analysts’ expectations of $25.43 billion.

Consequently, UPS shares experienced a decline of over 8% in Tuesday’s trading session.

The decision follows UPS’s agreement with the Teamsters union last July, which saw adjustments to the pay structure for both full-time and part-time workers.

This move is part of UPS’s broader strategy to streamline operations and navigate evolving market dynamics while maintaining its commitment to financial prudence and sustainability.

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