Your un-spammable email address… Australia’s ‘brand’ changes… Wal-Mart slows down… Genetic workplace discrimination
Monday, June 4, 2007/
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Australia not the friendliest anymore?
Australia has been knocked off its perch as the world’s friendliest nation by Canada, and China has knocked us out of the top 10 index that rates a nation’s brand name value, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Anholt Nations Brand Index (NBI) poll, which surveyed 25,900 consumers in 35 nations, has found Canadians have overtaken Australians as the world’s friendliest people.
Australia also was bumped down two places in the brand name valuation index, from ninth to 11th, as China made its debut in the top 10.
However, Australia still comes first as a holiday destination if “money was no object”, and ranks as the country richest in natural beauty, closely followed by New Zealand. In the overall ranking out of 40 nations, Australia came in sixth place behind Britain, Germany, Canada, France and Switzerland.
Wal-Mart takes a breather
The entrepreneurial juggernought Wal-Mart is changing direction again. After decades of staggering growth, the world’s largest retailer is slowing down. Wal-Mart will reduce the number of new supercentres to be opened this year by nearly 30%, or about 75 stores, The New York Times reports. Wal-Mart will only open about 200 stores and for the next three years only open 170 supercentres a year.
Wal-Mart is responding to a fall in sales. Opening one store a day has also taken attention and resources away from ageing outlets and taken sales away from nearby stores.
Wal-Mart appears to be at last following advice provided by analysts for years: focus on obtaining the best possible return on investments – not just on growth for its own sake.
A new kind of discrimination in the workplace
Employers want healthy employees, and so as science develops ways to predict health outcomes for people from certain risk factors, there are new ways that employers are discriminating against employees.
The International Labor Organisation’s latest report has discovered the emergence of practices that penalise people with “a genetic predisposition to developing certain diseases or those who have lifestyles considered unhealthy”.
The report, “Equality at work: Tackling the challenges”, says: “The rapid developments in genetics and related new technologies have made it easier to obtain information on genetic status. Genetic screening has important implications for the workplace where, for example, employers might discriminate against employees whose genetic status shows a predisposition to developing a certain disease in the future.”
Genetic discrimination at the workplace has been proven and successfully contested in several courts around the world, according to the report.