RMT demands urgent action as oil and gas workforce falls. (Credit: RMT.) RMT demands urgent action as oil and gas workforce falls by 40% in COVID-19 crisis and global price warOFFSHORE union RMT is demanding urgent and immediate action as operators rush to slash jobs and contracts in response to the Coronavirus emergency and the oil price war which has driven oil to below $25 per barrel. There are reports today that the worforce had fallen by nearly 40%.RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:“Oil and gas companies are unilaterally sending staff home with no regard to their future income, work or health.“Employers have failed to engage with offshore trade unions over standardising the industry’s response to Coronavirus, even when there have been cases diagnosed on North Sea platforms, yet the UK Government stands by and watches thousands of skilled energy workers being dumped without any comment whatsoever.“The Offshore Co-ordinating Group of trade unions and the STUC are meeting the Scottish Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse later today. We hope those talks deliver something meaningful.“Those talks also serve to demonstrate the gaping hole in the UK Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis offshore.” Source: Company Press Release RMT is demanding urgent and immediate action as operators rush to slash jobs and contracts in response to the Coronavirus emergency
Iverson Sun | The Observer The Notre Dame Cycling Club received an exemption from SAO to have in-person workouts.If the Cycling Club has more than 10 members, it cannot congregate at all once. SAO rules only permit a maximum of 10 people pods to train together at once while wearing masks.The Triathlon Club has also made adjustments to its in-person practices. First year, member Sam Vanstraten said the club has pods that rotate where they meet to train.“For practices, we have two pods that practice at different times for indoor practices,” Vanstraten said. “This has allowed us to space out when we practice on stationary bikes in the Smith Center or swimming at Rockne. When we practice outside, we are able to run in smaller groups that are spaced us as not to put ourselves at risk.”The smaller groups have allowed the team to build community, he said.“The pods have been really great for practice because it has created a smaller, more intimate community that meets often,” Vanstraten said. “I believe that the precautions that are being taken for COVID-19 have really increased the camaraderie within the club.”Many academic clubs are taking different approaches in light of the pandemic. Sophomore Hanjing Zhu, the project leader for the Microsoft Corporation at the Student Business International Council (SIBC) said her group is following a hybrid model.“While some project groups are meeting in person for their weekly meetings, I have conducted most of them on Zoom due to accessibility and safety,” Zhu said. “However, I intend to go in-person after travel-team selections conclude the following week.”While some clubs are aware of the option to meet in person, a few clubs like The Juggler, are either not sure or hesitant to continue with in-person events.“I’m actually not sure where SAO stands, which is why I’ve just been meeting on Zoom for the Juggler,” said senior William LaMarra, the head of the Juggler, the University’s literary magazine.While COVID-19 changes have made this year different, many like sophomore Jerome Gan, are cautiously optimistic.“We just had our first Asian American Association (AAA) meeting two weeks ago at Bond Quad. Everyone stayed socially distant, and these meetings seem to be working more effectively than Zoom,” Gan said. “I hope that we continue this and stay safe until the end of the semester.”Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated SAO recently changed its guidelines to allow some student groups to begin meeting in person. These guidelines were only different during the University’s two-week period of remote instruction; otherwise, the SAO guidelines have not changed. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: clubs, COVID-19, fall 2020, HERE guidelines, SAO Since the start of the fall semester, Notre Dame set many new health and safety guidelines, limiting the capacities and spaces for student meetings. Following these regulations, the Students Activities Office (SAO) reworked meeting guidelines and suspended most activities that would hold significant risk for transmission of COVID-19 during the two-week pause of in-person instructions and activities.However, in light of the decrease in positive cases of the coronavirus, SAO has permitted all clubs, as it has done ever since the first day of classes, to congregate in person, given that attendance is taken at all in-person meeting and events to allow for contact tracing if necessary. Campus groups are approaching these guidelines differently.Sophomore David Campos, a member of the Notre Dame Cycling Club, said allowing members to have organized practices that follow COVID guidelines uplifted the general attitude of the club.“By training in closer proximity, we have increased the training productivity and distance that each rider could go during training rides,” Campos said. “By allowing more experienced riders to pair up with newer members while staying socially distanced, we could hone technique and fitness early before tentative races in the spring.”
Facebook11Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Thurston County Solid WasteThe waste reduction team at Thurston County Solid Waste is gathering your input on waste habits and perception.Thurston County Solid Waste wants to hear from the community on two very important topics.The first topic is the issue of wasted food. As a nation, we waste 40% of all food produced. This has significant financial, environmental and social impacts – there is no good side. The County is working on reducing this waste through three projects, with more planned. Solid Waste has been assisting local schools with reducing lunchroom waste for several years, even providing free milk machines and durable cups.A very successful grant project with Thurston County Food Bank provided needed infrastructure to enable the organization to increase donations of prepared food from caterers, stores, schools, and restaurants. Earlier this year, Solid Waste launched a residential awareness campaign aimed at helping residents. “The average American throws out 25% of the food they buy,” according to Terri Thomas, with Thurston Solid Waste. “However, most people don’t realize it because it happens here and there, bit by bit.” In order to fine tune and expand their efforts, the waste reduction team wants information on waste habits and perception. They have developed a quick online survey that can be found at www.WasteLessFood.com.While you are at the website, you can learn about an exciting radio contest, and of course, how to reduce the food you waste. Since a family of four throws out about $1600 a year in wasted food, it’s worth the time to take a look.Thurston County Solid Waste wants your input on the plastic bag ban.The second topic focuses on the bag ordinances that took effect July 1 in the cities of Tumwater, Olympia and Lacey, and the unincorporated areas of Thurston County. “Now that the community has adjusted a bit, it’s important that we check in with customers and retailers to get a good picture of how it’s working after four months,” said Thomas. The new law prohibits most retailers from providing single-use plastic carryout bags. It also requires them to charge a minimum of five cents for large paper bags, which the stores keep. The fee helps offset the higher cost of paper bags and acts as an incentive for customers to bring reusable bags. Customers using EBT and other assistance programs are exempt from the charge.The two online plastic bag surveys—one for retailers and one for customers—are available at www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org/plastics. Retailers can also download signs at the “Resources for Retailers” link on the site, and post in their stores to encourage customers to take the survey. To be notified when the status report on the plastic bag ordinances is released, the community can sign up for the online newsletter while at the site.For more information about waste reduction programs, or these surveys, contact Terri Thomas at [email protected] or (360) 867-2279.
By Jenna O’Donnell |LITTLE SILVER — Verizon does not plan to move a contested cell tower from behind borough hall – but a special counsel retained by the borough said that representatives from the company are willing have discussions with the community on how it might be improved.Kevin N. Starkey, a Brick-based attorney hired last month to handle all matters related to the 95-foot cell tower installed by Verizon in May, attended the Aug. 7 borough council regular meeting to update residents and officials on a meeting with the provider.“We said we’d like you to move the tower,” Starkey said. “The answer was no.”Starkey said Verizon officials added, “We have too much invested in this.”Starkey went on to share some other requests made to Verizon, including that no other carriers would be added to the current monopole – which has room for three more – and that all of the six Verizon nodes currently atop the tower will remain facing away from nearby Markham Place School. While Verizon representatives told him that they had no role in the addition of other carriers to the cell tower, they could not agree to keep nodes faced in a certain direction, he said, as they move depending on coverage needs.“We also asked if we could redesign the tower to make it look nicer,” Starkey said, noting that Verizon had told him the platform could be removed – a change that would cost an estimated $45,000 to $50,000.In anticipation of possible legal and engineering expenses related to the cell tower, the council passed an emergency resolution appropriation of $75,000 at the start of the Aug. 7 meeting.Several residents were skeptical that there was a point to setting aside those legal fees, given that the tower is unlikely to be removed. “What’s the point?” one resident wanted to know.Another resident, Christopher Healey, asked what the borough could really do to prevent other carriers from putting equipment on the tower, given the sweeping rights granted to telecom companies from the 1996 Telecommunications Act.“Don’t other carriers have the same exact ability as Verizon to come and say ‘I want this here’?”Starkey acknowledged that possibility as towns cannot bar telecommunications companies from having coverage, but said that most carriers — meeting resistance — would find another location for equipment.“They don’t come to town wanting to fight,” he said.Another resident wanted to know about buying out the 25-year lease that Verizon currently holds with the borough, after funding its installation to replace an aging communications tower used by police and emergency services.That could prove costly, and ultimately senseless, according to Councilman Daniel J. O’Hern.“If there was a buyout, they would probably come back to town,” he said. “We would spend all that money and end up with a tower anyway.”This article was first published in the August 10-17, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.