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  • Tube Union Rejects Olympic Pay Raise; Korean President Rallies 2018 Support


    Tube Union Rejects Olympic Pay Raise

    The trade union representing employees of London’s tube says no thanks to an Olympic pay raise its members find laughable.
    Labor relations with London’s public transit workers have grown tense in the lead-up to the Games. (Getty Images)

    Calling a flat raise of 100 British Pounds “derisory,” the Rail Maritime and Transport Union said it will “step up the pressure” for a more equitable deal.

    “RMT is rejecting this interim Olympics and Paralympics pay offer from LUL and we will be meeting with the company again next week to press our case for a flat rate, across the board payment which recognises the contribution of all staff throughout the high pressure Olympics period,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said in a statement.

    “Other employers, notably London Overground and Network Rail, have come up with serious offers and agreements and we expect London Underground to do the same.

    “It is well documented that transport will be the biggest logistical challenge throughout the Olympics period with massive pressure on staff and services from moving millions of extra passenger journeys around Greater London and the South East.

    “All we are calling for is a fair deal for all the staff involved in delivering the colossal transport challenge that we will be facing this summer.”

    Korean President Rallies 2018 Support

    President Myung Bak Lee expects all of South Korea to get behind the country’s first Winter Games.
    President Myung Bak Lee awarded 13 athletes including Olympic champion figure skater and bid ambassador Yu Na Kim (pictured) the Order of Merit as part of Tuesday's rally. (PyeongChang 2018)

    More than 4,000 national team athletes, government dignitaries and Korean citizens joined Lee to hold a “National Rally for a Successful PyeongChang 2018” on Tuesday.

    “The President urged the host city to stage a Games that will be long remembered for its rich and exotic culture, bustling economy and tourism, and commitment to eco-friendliness,” says a release from the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee.

    “Furthermore, he hoped that PyeongChang would continue to play a significant role in the propagation of Olympism and winter sports beyond the Games, especially to countries that do not experience winter.”

    Tuesday’s rally in Alpensia, the future Olympic host resort, was staged by POCOG including recently elected president and CEO Jin Sun Kim, also governor of PyeongChang.

    Meanwhile, former bid chair Yang Ho Cho was busy in Seoul accepting the Korea Image Stepping Stone Award on behalf of the bid committee.

    "I would like to attribute the glory to all Koreans and President Myung Bak Lee, who wished for Pyeongchang to host the 2018 Winter Olympics,” he said upon receiving the prize for enhancing Korea's image overseas.

    Olympics to Funnel Nearly $500 Million into Food, Drink Sales

    Visitors will spend an additional $496 million in London’s hotels, bars and restaurants as a result of the Olympics.
    London pubs could see a massive increase in sales due to the Olympics. (Getty Images)

    According to research by wine supplier Bibendum Wine Ltd., spending on food and drinks in 2012 will exceed sales from 2011 by more than 35 percent.

    “These numbers really opened our eyes to the business potential provided by London 2012,” said Bibendum Wine managing director Michael Saunders.

    “There are just 27 weeks until the opening ceremony and our job is to ensure our customers are in the best possible position to enjoy a fantastic summer of trading, and capitalise on the opportunity provided by the Games.”

    The research also shows that trade will be disrupted by extensive road closures during the Olympics.

    Turkey NOC Draws Inspiration from Innsbruck

    After visiting the Innsbruck Youth Olympic Games, Hasan Arat, vice president of the Turkish National Olympic Committee and Istanbul 2020 leader, says the bid is now more prepared to engage youth.
    Hasan Arat and Ugur Erdener with Innsbruck 2012 volunteers. (Turkish NOC)

    “The Innsbruck 2012 Organizing Committee has done something very special here,” Arat said.

    “It has been fascinating to see how they have engaged the local community, and particularly young people. We’ve learned some valuable lessons on how to connect youth from all over the world in a unified celebration of sport, and our Applicant City File will be stronger for it.

    “We are developing an exciting range of educational, entrepreneurial and training programs, so that young people from all over the world can play their part in Games delivery and in realising its sustainable legacy.”

    Aliyev Boosts Azeri Sports

    Ilham Aliyev declares 2012 to be the "Year of Sports" in Azerbaijan.

    The Azeri president made the proclamation Wednesday.

    In a statement, Baku 2020 said Aliyev hopes the "Year of Sports" will “boost and expand the Olympic Movement throughout Azerbaijan and also to give a boost to Azeri athletes’ preparations for London 2012.

    “The fact that Azerbaijan has hosted world championships in wrestling, boxing and rhythmic gymnastics, and that we are preparing to host Women's Football World Cup in 2012, and also bidding to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is evidence that Azerbaijan is fast becoming an international sports events destination,” Aliyev added.

    Bruce Jenner set a world record of 8,463 points with his decathlon gold medal. (Getty Images)
    Bruce Jenner Undergoes Surgery

    Olympian and reality television star Bruce Jenner recently had surgery to treat skin cancer.

    According to U.S. media reports, Jenner went under the knife last week.

    Jenner won a gold medal in decathlon at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

    “They got it all, he’s OK,” a family source reportedly told gossip publication Us Weekly.

    Media Watch

    Reuters interviews Marc Pritchard, P&G Global Marketing and Brand Building Officer, about the company’s Olympic sponsorship.

    Online magazine Slate has a post on its “XX Factor” blog discussing why women boxers should not have to wear skirts at the Olympics.

    Written by Ed Hula III, Ann Cantrell, and Matthew Grayson.

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