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Tuesday,18-January-2022

Business

Google adopts hybrid workplace, 20% staff to work remotely

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Sundar-Pichai

As the Covid-19 pandemic ravages countries like India and Brazil, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced that the company is adopting a hybrid workplace, where around 60 per cent of Googlers are coming together in the office a few days a week, another 20 per cent are working in new office locations and 20 per cent are working from home.

Pichai said that it heartbreaking to see COVID surging in places like India, Brazil, and many others around the world.

“We’ll move to a hybrid work week where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days wherever they work best. Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office,” he said in a blog post late on Wednesday.

“There will also be roles that may need to be on site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work”.

“By mid-June your PAs and functions will come back with a process by which you can apply to move to another office. In granting approvals, they’ll take into account whether business goals can be met in the new location and whether your team has the right infrastructure in the site to support your work,” Pichai informed.

The company will also offer opportunities for employees to apply for completely remote work (away from team or office) based on their roles and team needs.

“As with location transfers, your leads will evaluate whether remote work can support the goals of the team and business. Whether you choose to transfer to a different office or opt for completely remote work, your compensation will be adjusted according to your new location,” Pichai noted.

Going forward, Googlers will be able to temporarily work from a location other than their main office for up to 4 weeks per year (with manager approval).

“Product areas and functions will also offer focus hours so we limit internal meetings during times when people need to be heads down on projects,” the Google CEO said.

The company said it will offer extra “reset” days to help employees recharge during the pandemic in 2021. The next global day off will be on May 28.

“The future of work is flexibility,” Pichai said.

Business

Tata Motors to raise passenger vehicle prices

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Automobile manufacturer Tata Motors will marginally increase the price of its passenger vehicles from Wednesday (January 19).

According to the company, there will be an average increase of 0.9 per cent, depending on the variant and model.

“At the same time, the company has also taken a reduction of up to Rs 10,000 on specific variants, in response to feedback from customers.

“While the company is absorbing a significant portion of the increased costs, the steep rise in overall input costs has compelled it to pass on some proportion through this minimal price hike.”

Additionally, the company has decided to offer ‘price protection’ on Tata cars booked on or before January 18.

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Business

GST hike deferment, PLI make textile stocks’ attractive, several Cos shares double

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Shares in textile business have witnessed a consistent uptick in the recent months due to various policy measures and on hopes of a firm outlook for the sector going ahead.

Besides, the GST council’s recent move to defer rate hike on textiles has buoyed investors’ sentiment.

In its latest GST council meeting, it was unanimously decided to defer a hike in rates on textiles from 5 per cent to 12 per cent, which was to come into effect from January 1.

The matter will be discussed again in the next council meeting.

The deferment came as several states flagged higher tax rates on textile products to be put on hold.

The decision by the Council gave a breathing space to the industry.

Accordingly, stocks of several textile firms zoomed.

Till date, shares of Bhilwara Spinners, Nitin Spinners and Nahar Spinning Mills have seen a sharp rally.

The shares of Bhilwara Spinners, Nitin Spinners and Nahar Spinning Mills companies rose 252 per cent, 316 per cent, 711 per cent, respectively, over the past one-year period.

Notably, much of the rally in the textile stocks was due Centre’s production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes in the key manufacturing sectors, which included the textiles sector.

On September 8, 2021, the Union Cabinet had cleared the PLI scheme for the textile sector with an estimated budget outlay of Rs 10,683 crore.

The Centre, through the scheme, aims to provide a big fillip to the man-made fibres and technical textiles segments by promoting industries that invest in the production of some select textile categories.

Consequently, shares Of companies such as Alok Industries rose 40 per cent, Trident 333 per cent, KPR Mill 315 per cent, Arvind 195 per cent, Welspun India 134 per cent, Gokaldas Exports 344 per cent, Lux Industries 147 per cent, Filatex India 109 per cent, and Ambika Cotton Mills 105 per cent during the period.

In addition, analysts said that the stock price movement is likely to continue in the near future.

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Business

Ford India closure: Compensation talks on with workers

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A couple of rounds of talks on the compensation to be paid to the workers have been held between the representatives of Ford India Private Ltd’s workers and the management, said a worker union leader.

He said the company management wants to conclude the talks and arrive at a settlement by February 2022.

“Couple of rounds of talks have been held with the workers in Chennai. We have given our charter of demands and the management said it has to be negotiated,” the Chennai plant union official told IANS preferring anonymity.

According to him, talks with the workers in the Gujarat plant have also started.

“We have asked for compensation for completed and remaining years of service. The company is not agreeable for the same. The management has not indicated as to the compensation they are willing to pay to the workers,” the union official said.

Majority of the workers are young and have about 25 years of service remaining before they retire and the compensation calculated on that basis will be a sizeable sum, is the management’s view.

However, the parent company will be infusing funds in dollars and as per the exchange rate between dollar and the rupee the outgo for Ford India will not be much, the worker leader said.

Last September, Ford India announced its decision to wind down vehicle assembly in Sanand in Gujarat by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.

Ford India has four plants in the country — vehicle and engine plants in Chennai and Sanand.

Ford’s ‘quit India’ decision will result in an uncertain future for about 5,300 employees — workers and staff, the officials said last year.

The Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff.

“In Sanand, the number of workers will be about 2,000,” Sanand workers’ union General Secretary Nayan Kateshiya had told IANS.

Ford India had said more than 500 employees at the Sanand engine plant, which produces engines for export, and about 100 employees supporting parts distribution and customer service, also will continue to support Ford’s business in India.

According to Ford India, about 4,000 employees are expected to be affected by its decision.

The workers at Ford India want the prospective buyer of the car plants to hire them.

Meanwhile, Ford India has declared a holiday for majority workers till January 27.

About 100-200 workers have been asked to report for work to make the spares for the aftermarket, the union leader said.

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