The Callum Skye via PAThe Callum Skye via PA

News Round-Up

Nov 24: Oxfam staff to strike; Consumer confidence rallies; Callum’s electric off-roader

  • Here are the headlines for Friday, November 24

Time 6:35 am, November 24, 2023

Oxfam workers to strike in pay dispute

Hundreds of Oxfam workers are to stage a series of strikes next month in a dispute over pay – the first such action in the charity’s history.

Union Unite said staff are angry that average wages have been cut by 21% in real terms since 2018. It added that Oxfam’s last reported cash reserves stood at £44.6m in 2022 – the highest in at least five years.

The workers will take strike action, affecting Oxfam offices and more than 200 shops, on December 8 and 9, 14-17, 20-24 and 26-31.

Consumer confidence stages end-of-year rally

Consumer confidence has bounced back despite the ongoing cost-of-living concerns as consumers look set to enjoy the festive season.

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index rose by six points in November, although it still languishes firmly at minus 24.

Confidence in the general economy over the next 12 months also increased by six points to minus 26, which is 32 points higher than a year ago.

John Lewis to open health clinics in stores next month

Department store chain John Lewis is launching health clinics within its shops in the latest move to expand its offering in the face of tough retail trading conditions.

The group has teamed up with diagnostics firm Randox Health to set up the clinics, providing full-body health checks to identify early signs of health issues.

Customers will be able to get tested for vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalances and key health concerns, among other services. The first clinic will open in its High Wycombe store, with customers able to make bookings now for appointments from December 18.

Tech entrepreneur convicted of rapes and sexual assault

A multi-millionaire tech entrepreneur has been behind bars for 10 months after being convicted of sexually assaulting an ex-employee, it can now be reported.

Lawrence Jones, 55, was remanded in custody in January after a jury at Manchester Crown Court found him guilty of the offence.

Reporting restrictions were lifted yesterday at the conclusion of a second trial in which the former chief executive of UKFast was convicted of drugging and raping two women decades earlier when he worked as a hotel bar pianist. He will be sentenced for all matters on December 1.

The Callum Skye charging via PA

Ex-Jag designer Ian Callum reveals first ‘own-brand’ vehicle

Former Aston Martin and Jaguar designer Ian Callum has unveiled his first ‘own’ vehicle – electric off-roader the Callum Skye.

There’s no word on power, but the model is expected to be able to accelerate from 0-60mph in ‘under four seconds’. It’s also equipped with a 42kWh battery, allowing for a claimed range of 170 miles.

Callum says customers can opt for a high-power ultra-rapid charging battery that can be replenished from empty to full in ‘under 10 minutes’. It’s currently being tested, with pricing and a launch date still to be revealed.

Amazon workers stage Black Friday walkout

Amazon workers are going on strike today – one of the busiest shopping days of the year – in a long-running dispute over pay.

Members of the GMB union at the online giant’s site in Coventry will walk out, mounting a picket line outside the centre.

Amazon said Black Friday’s industrial action won’t affect customers. Strikes and demonstrations are also being held in other European countries and the US.

Cruise ship operator Carnival UK accused of threat to fire and rehire 900 crew

A leading cruise ship operator has been accused of threatening more than 900 crew with being fired and rehired if they don’t accept reduced terms and conditions.

The Nautilus union said Carnival UK has notified authorities in the UK and Bermuda of its intention to change employment terms and conditions for 919 crew across 10 vessels.

Crew on the affected fleets include those working on P&O Cruises and Cunard ships such as the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2, the union said. There was no comment from Carnival UK.

Judge invited to take cider taste test in High Court trade mark row

A judge has been invited to take a ‘taste test’ of rival cider drinks in a High Court trade mark dispute between family firm Thatchers and German discounter Aldi.

Thatchers is suing Aldi for infringing the trade mark of its ‘cloudy lemon cider’, alleging that the supermarket chain’s Taurus brand ‘copycatted’ its product.

It accuses Aldi of gaining an ‘unfair advantage’ by copying the product Thatchers released in February 2020 ‘in both taste and appearance’. The German retailer, which launched its product in May 2022, denies infringement and ‘passing off’ its product. The trial continues.

Jon Pertwee in the Whomobile in 1974

Jon Pertwee pictured as the Doctor in the Whomobile in 1974

Doctor Who vehicles on display at Beaulieu to mark show’s 60th anniversary

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is celebrating Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary with a temporary display featuring two vehicles from the sci-fi series.

Yellow roadster Bessie, introduced during third Doctor Jon Pertwee’s era in 1970 and also used by subsequent Doctors, is joined by the futuristic-looking Whomobile, which Pertwee commissioned and was seen on screen in two adventures during his final season in the show in 1974.

The display, which includes a Dalek as well, opened yesterday – 60 years to the day since the show’s first episode aired – and runs until the end of February 2024.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 14.07 points up yesterday to end the day on 7,483.58. The Cac 40 was up 17.20 points at 7,277.93, the Dax was up 36.91 points at 15,994.73 and the Dow Jones was up 184.74 points at 35,273.03.

Weather outlook

Today will see a windy start, with showers in the far north and on the North Sea coasts, says BBC Weather. There’ll be the occasional shower in the south-west, too, but it’ll turn drier and brighter with easing winds later on. It’ll also be a colder day.

Saturday will be chilly, but calm and bright with spells of autumnal sunshine. There’ll be patchy cloud and isolated showers in the far north and along North Sea coasts.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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