Strike at SABIC Dutch plant hits output

Updated 02 February 2013
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Strike at SABIC Dutch plant hits output

ALKHOBAR: A strike by workers at the SABIC Europe Chemicals Geleen plant in the Netherlands has cut production, the company’s Saudi Arabian owner said yesterday.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said in a bourse statement that talks with a union over working conditions had not yet been successful and that it did not know what impact the strike would have on profits or production.
“The decrease in production began 31/1/2013 due to the proactive measure taken by the union work force as a consequence of no finalized agreement regarding work conditions,” it said in the statement.
In Geleen, SABIC has two naphtha crackers and several polymerization plants to produce polyethylene and polypropylene. Galeen produces 1.25 million tons per year of ethylene, 725,000 tons per year of propylene, 940,000 tons per year of polyethylene, and 620,000 tons per year of polypropylene.
“It is not possible to determine the financial effect or the effect on production capacity, at this time, because the affected plants are not yet known,” SABIC added in the statement.
A SABIC spokesman in Europe said the disagreement was over payments to staff who might become redundant.
De Unie, one of the unions involved in the strike action, said SABIC wanted to cut back sharply on the support offered to laid-off workers to help them find new jobs.


Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP)
Updated 15 min 50 sec ago
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Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

  • He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.”

DETROIT: China is engaging in “predatory economics 101” and an “unprecedented level of larceny” of intellectual property, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a business audience Monday.
Pompeo made the remarks at the Detroit Economic Club as global markets reacted to trade tensions between the US and China. Both nations started putting trade tariffs in motion that are set to take effect July 6.
He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.” He added that China is a “predatory economic government” that is “long overdue in being tackled,” matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the US market.
“Everyone knows ... China is the main perpetrator,” he said. “It’s an unprecedented level of larceny.”
“Just ask yourself: Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America?” he said later. “This is predatory economics 101.”
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.
“I reminded him that’s not fair competition,” Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump has announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports. China is retaliating by raising import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. Trump also has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies.
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump’s watch. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic adviser, said last week that a “tariff battle” could result in price inflation and consumer debt — “historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.”
Pompeo on Monday described US actions as “economic diplomacy,” which, when done right, strengthens national security and international alliances, he added.
“We use American power, economic might and influence as a tool of economic policy,” he said. “We do our best to call out unfair economic behaviors as well.”