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Daily Archives: May 8, 2008

Thomson Financial News journalists to vote on strike

Britain-based reporters at the Thomson Financial News wire service will vote on whether to strike following the creation of parent group Thomson Reuters, the main journalists' trade union said Tuesday.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said in a statement that its members at Thomson Financial News had called unanimously for a formal ballot to strike over possible redundancies and changes to their working conditions.
However, Thomson Reuters insisted in a separate statement that it had not made any decisions about staffing levels and pledged to consult with trade unions.
Thomson Reuters, a new leading provider of financial data, was created on April 17 following the takeover by Canada's Thomson Corp of British-based media giant Reuters for 8.7 billion pounds (11.5 billion euros, 17 billion dollars).
"We have only been Thomson Reuters for two weeks now and due to regulatory restrictions it has not been possible to make any decisions on specific staffing needs anywhere in the company, including editorial," said David Schlesinger, editor in chief of Reuters News.
"Once we have decided what staffing will be necessary and where we will consult with the unions on the best way forward. We are proud of our editorial heritage and remain fully committed to its ongoing success."
However, the NUJ said earlier that journalists working for Thomson Financial News were "angry" about the takeover process.
"Journalists at the news agency are angry about the way in which the two operations are being integrated, and have particular concerns around the threat of redundancies and potential undermining of terms and conditions," the NUJ said in their statement.
It added: "We are disappointed at the company's continuing refusal to consider a voluntary redundancy programme as part of any job reduction package and their continuing insistence that compulsory redundancies must remain part of the mix."
According to an independent estimate made last year, Thomson Reuters was to have 34 percent of the financial data market, compared with Bloomberg's 33 percent.
The creation of Thomson Reuters combines Thomson Corp's presence in the United States with Reuters' penetration of markets for trading, financial and business information in Britain and continental Europe.
The new group covers sectors including accounting, finance, healthcare, law, media and science.

Russia, US sign nuclear energy deal

The United States and Russia signed an agreement in Moscow on Tuesday for cooperation in the nuclear energy industry between the two former Cold War foes.
The agreement will allow US and Russian companies to form joint ventures in the nuclear sector and gives the go-ahead for exchanges of nuclear technology between the two countries, officials said.
Russia will also be able to reprocess spent nuclear fuel originating in the United States, which accounts for most of the world market, in a move that has raised fears of Russia being turned into a nuclear dump.
The agreement opens "large opportunities in the area of business," Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom, said after signing the agreement with US Ambassador to Moscow William Burns.
Kiriyenko also denied that Russia would start importing nuclear waste.
"Once nuclear rivals, today nuclear partners, the US and Russia now have a framework to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purpose and to advance nuclear energy worldwide," the US embassy said in a statement.
US President George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin inked the agreement at a summit in Kennebunkport in the United States last year and discussed it again in the Russian resort of Sochi last month.