It is hard to know whether Chain Channi's experience is typical of the thousands of Cambodian domestic workers in Malaysia, but it was certainly miserable. Channi, who has requested that her real name not be mentioned, started working for her employer in October 2009. Her days started at 5 am and often she had to work 22 hours straight. If she finished cleaning the house too quickly, her boss made her start again. "The wife of the employer shouted and beat me every day. She said I was slow," Channi told Human Rights Watch, adding that the woman would deliver an array of physical punishments including kicking and beating her, and called her "ugly and stupid." As is common for Cambodian domestic workers in Malaysia, Channi's employer kept her passport. The doors were kept locked in the house, and she was forbidden from going outside and talking to the neighbours. She also says that she never received any pay. Several employees keep their workers' passports to stop them from … [Read more...] about Action needed to protect Cambodian workers in Malaysia
Denmark is the world's happiest country, overtaking Switzerland, according to the fourth annual report on the subject. Prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the report ranked the US at 13, Germany at 16, the United Kingdom at 23, France at 32, and Italy at 50. At the other end of the spectrum are Madagasgar, Tanzania and Liberia, with Afghanistan and Syria also in the bottom 10. Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, who also heads the SDSN and is a special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, co-authored the report. "Human well-being should be nurtured through a holistic approach that combines economic, social and environmental objectives," he said in a statement before the World Happiness Report 2016 was unveiled in Rome on Wednesday. The report's metrics for measuring happiness across 157 nations include per capita GDP, social support and healthy life expectancy. Since the first … [Read more...] about Danes are king when it comes to ‘Happiness’
There are days when Franka Michalski simply wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. It could be she tossed and turned all night, or it might be raining cats and dogs outside. But when she goes to her job as a customer support technician at the IT firm Nutzwerk, she better put on a happy face, or at least keep her dark thoughts to herself. At her job, moaning and groaning can put you in the unemployment line. The contract she signed when she took the job stipulates that griping on the job is strictly verboten. "After about two months, I learned how to work in this company," she said. "Now, maybe sometimes I'm in a bad mood, but then I come to work and my colleague is smiling at me and it makes me happy." Although it might sound like a German remake of "The Stepford Wives," the policy put into place at Nutzwerk is the company CEO's attempt to stanch in at least one place what many say is an almost unending flow of verbal woe emanating from German mouths. "In Germany, it's … [Read more...] about Don’t Worry, Be Happy … or You’re Fired!
Garment industry representatives, unions and the government agreed to raising wages for garment workers by 9.2 percent by the beginning of next year, Cambodia's Ministry of Labor, Vocational and Training said on Thursday. "The minimum wage of garment factory workers for 2017 has been officially set at $153 (136 euros) per month," the ministry said in a statement. However, some union representatives said the latest increase of $13 monthly, compared to $140 in 2014, fell drastically short of a fair minimum wage. "All the workers' union leaders and I, myself, are not happy with this new increased wage," said Ath Thorn, president of one of the unions that took part in negotiations. "Due to the general expenses of the workers being too high, especially the prices of goods that keep increasing day by day, I think the fair minimum wage for the workers should $171 per month," he added. Garment workers' wages have been a headache for Cambodia's government since mass demonstrations four years … [Read more...] about Cambodia raises minimum wage for textile workers
Most people draw positive emotions and self-affirmation from their work. It's also where they place the bulk of their energy. German researchers recently delved into this seeming paradox and came up with some interesting results. Nowadays, more than ever before, having fun with friends, leisure time and free time is more highly valued than ever before. Even professionals in the IT sector, once known as people who burned the midnight oil, have discovered the concept of leisure time. Where are the workaholics? Munich researchers contracted by the Hans Böckler Foundation recently conducted interviews with software developers, consultants, executives and administrative workers from IT companies. The results? People these days are seeking a greater division between their work and private lives. Spending a long evening or even an entire night in front of the screen has fallen out of vogue. Some people have abandoned entrepreneurship for more stabile working hours Others have … [Read more...] about Happiness Begins After Work