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H&M calls for faster factory inspections in Bangladesh

By Mia Shanley STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) <HMb.ST>, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, said on Thursday Bangladesh needed to speed up inspections of its garment industry, almost a year after the collapse of a factory that killed more than 1,100 people. The disaster at the Rana Plaza complex a year ago prompted the Swedish budget fashion chain and other Western brands to pledge to cooperate to improve working conditions.

Obama bypasses Congress to promote equal pay for women

Washington, Apr 8 (EFE).- President Barack Obama resorted Tuesday to an executive order to oblige federal contractors to provide equal pay for women who currently earn less than their male counterparts. The fact that on average a woman is paid 77 cents for every $1 paid to a man is "wrong" in 2014, Obama said during a White House event. "And this is not just an issue of fairness. It's also a family issue and an economic issue, because women make up about half of our workforce and they're increasingly the breadwinners for a whole lot of families out there," he said.

Italy puts 2014 growth forecast at 0.8 per cent; Renzi says he's got payroll tax cut covered

MILAN - Italian Premier Matteo Renzi's government has approved a budget framework that puts economic growth at 0.8 per cent this year. The government is working on a raft of structural and fiscal reforms aimed at boosting Italy's economy out of stagnation. The three-year budget approved Tuesday will be submitted to the European Commission later this month, and the growth estimate compares with the International Monetary Fund's 0.6 per cent forecast.

NDP says B.C. lottery boss who quit got severance of 86K, computer, phone, iPad

VICTORIA - Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the government followed proper guidelines when it allowed the former CEO of the BC Lottery Corporation who quit his job to leave with a severance package. The Opposition New Democrats say Michael Graydon received a payout worth about $86,000, and also got to take his company-issued iPhone, iPad and laptop. Graydon resigned at the end of January and one week later was named the president of a new company that's planning to build an urban resort and gaming centre next to BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

Maryland lawmakers boost minimum wage to $10.10/hour

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Maryland legislature approved raising the state's minimum wage on Monday to $10.10 an hour, equaling the highest state rate and drawing praise from President Barack Obama. The Democrat-controlled House of Delegates approved passage 87-47 and sent the bill to Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley, who had made the measure a priority. Maryland's entry-level wage is $7.25 an hour and was last raised in 2006. The bill would raise it in stages to $10.10 in July 2018.

Obama to launch executive actions on equal pay for women

By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will launch two new executive actions this week aimed at increasing transparency about women's pay in a continuing effort to ensure women are paid equally to their male counterparts for similar work, the White House said on Sunday.

Instant View: U.S. job growth at 192,000 in March

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. employers maintained a solid pace of hiring for a second straight month in March, further evidence the economy was shifting into higher gear after being held back by a brutally cold winter. GRAPHIC: http://link.reuters.com/ram54t KEY POINTS: * Nonfarm payrolls increase 192,000 in March * Unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7 percent * Average workweek rises to 34.5 hours COMMENTS:

Companies rein in flashy perks, find other rewards for CEOs

By Ross Kerber BOSTON (Reuters) - For some executives, corporate perks are getting just a little less exciting. A number of major U.S. companies are cutting back on glamorous luxuries like personal jet use, country-club memberships, and luxury rentals, recent corporate filings show. Often the shifts follow pressure from shareholders, who in recent years have criticized soaring executive pay and over-the-top perks.

Despite changes to rich pension plans, public servants still overpaid: report

OTTAWA - Federal employees are still far ahead of their private sector counterparts in terms of total compensation thanks to their pension benefits, says a C.D. Howe Institute report issued Wednesday. The paper, by pension expert Malcolm Hamilton, calculates that recent changes to public pension plans still haven't gone far enough to even the playing field and that total compensation of government employees is about $4 billion higher than Ottawa calculates.

Despite changes to rich pension plans, public servants still overpaid: report

OTTAWA - A new C.D. Howe Institute report suggests that changes to federal public pension plans still haven't gone far enough to bring overall employee compensation in line with the private sector. It says the value of the retirement benefits for federal employees causes Ottawa to underprice the total compensation it pays by about $4 billion annually. The report by pension expert Malcolm Hamilton says the government hasn't yet achieved its goal of bringing what it pays its employees in line with what similarly qualified workers earn in the private sector.
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