Connect with us


Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Fiasco Brings Gloom to Elite Smartphone Unit



SEOUL—The people who make Samsung phones are an elite bunch. They hold the most coveted jobs at the most valuable company within Samsung Group, the largest and most prestigious conglomerate in South Korea.

But the sense of exceptionalism was smashed last week as Samsung Electronics Co. took the unprecedented step of killing off an entire generation of its Note 7 smartphone after persistent problems with battery fires and explosions. Now the 26,600 workers in Korea who were celebrated for taking the company’s profit and brand to new heights are seen as responsible for the worst crisis in Samsung Electronics’s 47-year history. A sense of gloom has descended, employees say, describing the episode as sad and tragic.

Samsung has said the fiasco will cost more than $5 billion (U.S.) and the phone unit will probably pay a steep price. The division has often received the biggest bonuses within Samsung Group, typically about half of base salary, and employees now suspect they may get nothing. Some senior executives will likely lose their jobs too, including perhaps chief D.J. Koh.

“The mobile unit had naturally towered above other business divisions,” said Kim Young-woo, an analyst with SK Securities Co. and former Samsung employee. “Now they’ve created what may be the worst-case scenario for corporate recalls in business school textbooks.”

Samsung declined to comment on salaries, bonuses or potential job losses. “Right now, our focus is ensuring that all remaining Note 7 devices are returned to ensure the safety of our valued customers,” the company said in a statement.

Samsung introduced the Note 7 in August and recalled the first batch of 2.5 million smartphones in September. The company was forced to call back the phones again this month after replacement devices it said were safe also overheated.

Samsung is navigating the crisis with its leadership in transition. Lee Kun-hee, the family patriarch and chairman, has been hospitalized for more than two years after a heart attack. His son, Jay Y. Lee, is vice-chairman and heir apparent, but hasn’t been able to take his father’s position because of Korean customs. In the meantime, Samsung Group is being led by a management committee, which includes the younger Lee and co-vice-chairman G.S. Choi.

For years, the mobile-phone unit was just one of several important divisions within Samsung Electronics, along with semiconductors and televisions. That changed with the advent of the smartphone and Samsung’s success in becoming a leader in the burgeoning new field. The mobile-unit accounted for 27 per cent of revenue in 2010, with the proportion surging to 61 per cent in 2013.

That shifted the dynamics within Samsung. Suddenly, phone workers became big, important customers for other divisions, buying huge amounts of chips, glass-panels and other components. Profits soared for everyone.

Attitudes changed too. Phone-unit employees acted like the bosses at times, pushing workers to meet tighter deadlines while having the upper hand in price negotiations. They usually got paid better too and their bonuses were bigger. In 2014, then phone division head J.K. Shin received a 12.8 billion won ($11 million) annual bonus, at least 75-per-cent more than any other executive director. There was grumbling among other employees the past two years when phone-unit workers got their 50-per-cent bonuses even while mobile profits tumbled.

“The mobile division used to be the super boss at Samsung,” said Chang Sea-jin, a professor at the National University of Singapore and author of Sony vs. Samsung, a book on the company’s rise against its Japanese competitor.

Samsung denied the mobile unit wielded power over other business divisions. “Samsung manages its supply chain based on fair and transparent policies and actively supports suppliers to establish mid- and long-term partnerships with them,” the company said in its statement.

Now, employees are fretting the fallout from their role in such an expensive hit to Samsung’s once-sterling reputation. Several workers agreed to discuss the current atmosphere and sagging morale, but asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to talk to the press.

“A lot of people are worried about who will be held responsible,” said one employee in the mobile group. “This isn’t something you pull off alone. A lot of people are and have been involved. We all want this to be resolved and put behind us.”

Workers say the debacle has caused soul searching inside the company.

“It’s sad and shameful at the same time,” said another employee in the mobile unit. “Wherever I go now, people ask me things like, ‘Is everything OK? I hear the company is in big trouble.’ It’s a big lesson for us.”

Outside the mobile phone division, employees feel some resentment that the company is taking such a blow because of the actions of a few. They want more rigorous procedures to be implemented to avoid such problems in the future, especially if they are caused by rushing to meet unrealistic deadlines.

One worker with the components division said the mobile unit needs to realize its limits and be extra careful in the future.

“We are strongly committed to determining and addressing the cause and to taking any and all necessary steps to ensure this never happens again,” Samsung said in its statement.

The company’s employees are trying to stay confident about the future. They take comfort from the fact that the Note 7 drew positive reviews before the battery problems surfaced. They believe they can emerge from the gloom of the latest crisis.

“If we’re able to nail it with our next phone, we’ll eventually be able to put the Note 7 issue behind us,” said one of the phone unit workers. “If we don’t, we won’t get a second chance.”

Read More..

Continue Reading


Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

Continue Reading


The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

Continue Reading


Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

Continue Reading