Category: Business

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A real buzz at the Angels of the North premiere

Louise Brown

North East Bylines had the pleasure of attending the premiere of series three of BBC’s ‘Angels of the North’  in Newcastle last night. This programme follows the lives of the staff at Sammy-Jo Pearson’s salon ‘Longlox’ in Gateshead. The series has now branched out to also follow staff at Pure Ink, a Newcastle tattoo parlour […]

Northern Irish trade: Brexit breaks it

Joyce Quin

When the UK joined the then European Economic Community in 1973 it was not at all surprising that the Republic of Ireland became an EEC member at the same time. The UK and Ireland were closely linked economically and both countries were committed to the common travel area between them and were conscious of the […]

Opinion

Wetherspoons’ boss loses out because of Brexit

Peter Benson

I fear I could be suffering from Schadenfreude, as I find myself somewhat unable to show empathy for the boss and biggest shareholder of Wetherspoons pub chain, Tim Martin. Brexit promoting Tim Martin must take some of the blame for the current crises in food, energy, labour and logistics, that the country is still reeling from. He […]

Opinion

NI, GB, EU and why in the name of god this stuff matters when it shouldn’t…

Bill Corcoran

I was in Malta last week. A surreal experience with a Mediterranean climate, English spoken, fish’n’chips (and mushy peas!!) in a posh café in Valletta. In conversations with the friendly Maltese, the prevailing words, uttered quietly, once the polite language about shared history, culture and friendship had been done – “but Brexit….”; as if referring […]

Brexit crisis continues with bus driver shortages

Yvonne Wancke

Bus routes and services are experiencing disruption across the country, particularly in the North East. This is a knock on effect from the HGV crisis as bus drivers are being ‘poached’ by haulage bosses for hugely increased wages. The reasons for the bus driver shortages Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon, chairman of the North East […]

Opinion

High wage economy: a response to Boris Johnson

James Sheerin

It’s not that a high wage, high productivity economy is a bad idea. It’s what we desperately need to improve the lot of everyone in our broken society. It’s the bare-faced insincerity of Boris Johnson, the man who dreamed up the argument, perhaps even as he spoke to Andrew Marr last Sunday, as a way […]

Michael Gove’s extraordinary tale of Teesside at the Tory Party Conference

Scott Hunter

Are those beer goggles you’re wearing, Mr Gove? Michael Gove visited the site of the South Tees Development Corporation in late September. When he spoke of that experience at the to the party faithful on Monday, many may have been enthralled by what he had to say. Many on Teesside, meanwhile, were left absolutely speechless.  […]

Interview

Haulage: a perspective from Poland

North East Bylines

Gregor Gowans lives in Poland and is a journalist at trans.INFO. North East Bylines interviewed him to find out first-hand about lorry driver shortages and related matters. Gregor confirmed that there is indeed a lorry-driver shortage in Britain and throughout Europe, including Poland. But, he stressed, it is: “emphatically not true that there are empty […]

Tees Valley: Houchen helps those that help themselves

Scott Hunter

The shortage of HGV drivers continues to dominate the headlines, with Boris Johnson telling the world that the whole point of Brexit was to do away with the low-wage/high-immigration economy that we are living with and instead to train British workers to do higher skilled jobs, thus creating a high-wage/low-immigration economy. Time to look at […]

Is Ben Houchen getting cold feet about Teesside Airport?

Scott Hunter

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the airline industry. So, the news that the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) recently provided Teesside Airport with a £10 million bailout came as no surprise. Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, rightly pointed out at the time that this type of measure had been necessary for regional airports […]

It’s colder up north: a winter of discontent beckons

Peter Benson

Every winter we take the cold weather for granted. However, this year it’s going to cost us all so much more in heating bills. On 1 October gas and electricity prices go up by 12%. How many of us can really afford all these prices hikes, along with fuel and food prices rocketing, all largely […]

Simon Clarke says shortages are across Europe and not caused by Brexit

Yvonne Wancke

Today Simon Clarke, Treasury Minister and MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said, on Radio 4 Today that the fuel shortages are not unique to the UK: “The idea that this is just a British problem is fundamentally wrong.“ He claims that it is a problem shared across Europe, specifically mentioning Germany and Poland. […]

The hospitality industry post-Brexit

Margaret Green

I recently began working in hospitality. An area of which I had no experience. Little did I know that I was coinciding with the upheaval of Covid-19 and Brexit. I have tried to pull out some of the trends that I have seen and in particular those that might be relevant to Brexit. I have […]

Industrial action ballot by Stagecoach drivers

North East Bylines

More than 800 drivers and engineers at Stagecoach North East have called ‘time’ on the management’s ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics on pay and will be holding a ballot for industrial action, including the option to strike, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 22 September). The ballot for strike action and industrial action short of strike action opens […]

The bigger the lie: Houchen’s alternative facts about the Dorman Long Tower

Scott Hunter

The Dorman Long Tower was demolished on Sunday 19 September. The engineers’ report that occasioned its demise was published on Monday. Some will be unsurprised to learn that Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen’s, description of its contents bears little resemblance to reality. He has taken a few risks in the process. Will they pay off […]

Energy crisis sparks food and beer shortages amid local job losses

Peter Benson

We must not downplay the seriousness of the current energy crisis. Higher gas and electricity prices on top of other price increases are a real problem. There is a potential for blackouts and job losses. Whilst the government says there is no scarcity of energy at the moment, winter is coming. Why is there an […]

Trade Unions in the 21st century: the fall and slow rise

Stephen Lambert

In the opening decade of the 21st century, the key change for trade unionism in the UK have been high unemployment, the growth in part-time, flexible, zero-hours contracts and a widening chasm between secure full-time work and badly-paid insecure jobs. An important effect of this divide is that during and after the 2008 financial crisis, […]

Sharon Hodgson, MP shows support for Second Hand September

North East Bylines

Sharon Hodgson MP is proud to join Oxfam this September in taking a stand against the fast fashion industry.  Second Hand September The #SecondHandSeptember campaign is celebrating looking fashionable in re-used and re-loved clothes. Both Sharon and the team at Oxfam are concerned about the environmental damage that fast fashion (mass produced clothes often at […]

National Insurance increases: ‘levelling up’ for the North East?

Yvonne Wancke

This week the government voted to increase National Insurance contributions in order to fund social care. National Insurance contributions are set to rise by 1.25 percentage points. Whilst initially this may not seem a lot, it is worth noting that for anyone earning between £10,000 and £50,000 a year, it actually means an increase of […]

“Help! I need somebody”: a problem of Brexit economics

Peter Benson

Employers all around the UK must be humming the words of the iconic Beatles song in total despair. Chronic labour shortages are holding back economic recovery, causing rapid inflation and damaging businesses in virtually every sector of the economy. It beggars belief that a Scottish farmers co-operative has had to throw away 3.5 million heads of […]

Following a thread: untangling the story of a homespun product

Judi Sutherland

I found this reel of cotton in my sewing basket, and I don’t remember how it got there. It’s obviously old, from the style of the label, and the fact the reel is wooden rather than plastic. Maybe my mother acquired it in the mid-1960s when our family spent a couple of years in Antrim. […]

The Wonderful Everyday in short supply: from Ikea to rubbish collections

Peter Benson

More national brands are announcing supply problems caused by the lack of HGV drivers, on top of Tesco and Iceland. Adding to the list in recent days are Ikea, Coca Cola, Costa, Gregg’s, Wetherspoon’s, McDonald’s, KFC and many more. The reality is that virtually every corner of the economy is being impacted. This is from supermarket […]

Chicken shortage: it’s peri-peri serious!

Peter Benson

Are you in a flap about the chicken shortage and worried about not getting enough of your favourite finger licking delicious chicken meal?  Well, if not you should be or perhaps you have not been in a supermarket lately. The reason for the chicken shortages in Nando’s and KFC  is an acute shortage of staff within […]

North East business and the EU deal

Joyce Quin

The government continues to be in denial about the difficulties businesses across the UK have experienced in exporting to the EU since January of this year, when the terms of the Prime Minister’s deal with the EU came into effect. That these difficulties have particularly affected firms in the North East was shown in a […]

Lorry driver shortages, empty shelves and Brexit

Yvonne Wancke

Retailers right across the country are struggling to find enough lorry drivers to ensure that they have enough stock in the coming months and in particular for the festive season. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has estimated that there is a current shortfall of around 100,000 drivers. If anything this is set to become worse. […]

No ‘levelling up’ for the North East: another broken promise

Yvonne Wancke

The North East is set to lose millions of pounds this year because of Brexit. This is despite the Prime Minister’s repeated promises of ‘levelling up’. A number of traditional Labour voting areas in the North East switched their votes to support Boris Johnson in the 2019 election, in part because of a desire to […]

Ben Houchen and the chamber of secrets

Scott Hunter

Tees Valley Mayor seeks to protect Teesside Airport from ‘rogue’ politicians like himself, as the airport operator departs Teesside Airport operator Esken Ltd, formerly Stobart Aviation, has jumped ship and pulled out of its contract with the airport company (TIAL). Now, in place of Esken Ltd, the airport is being operated directly by its own […]

Cleveland Bridge is falling down

Scott Hunter

Darlington-based structural engineering firm Cleveland Bridge has collapsed into administration, it has been announced. Its entire workforce of 230 is now under threat of redundancy. The firm, in existence for 144 years, has been owned by the Saudi al-Rushaid group since 2000. The crisis has occurred despite the firm having a full order book.  So, […]