Tuesday newspaper roundup: Strikes, Klarna, small business borrowers

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Ministers approved controversial plans to allow agency workers to replace striking workers, passing the settlement on Monday night by 289 votes to 202. While Business Secretary Jane Hunt said the change, which has been fast-tracked following ongoing rail strikes, was needed to remove ‘outdated blanket ban’ on using agency workers to cover official industrial action, critics say measure akin to a ‘scab charter “. – Guardian

Buy now, pay later fintech darling Klarna, once Europe’s most valuable private tech company, saw its valueK reduced by 85% to less than $7 billion in its last fundraising. The company, which has grown by leaps and bounds while being criticized for potentially dragging buyers into unsustainable debt, announced the valuation after the conclusion of a difficult $800 million funding round as investors continued to question the real value of many technology companies. – Guardian

A large microchip factory is to be built in France with taxpayers’ money as Emmanuel Macron strives to reduce his dependence on Chinese imports. The facility is being built by STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries at an existing site in Crolles, near Grenoble, increasing its capacity from 10,000 to 22,000 wafers per week. – Telegraph

The city regulator has ordered bank boards to step in and improve how struggling small business borrowers are dealt with after discovering the widespread mistreatment of businesses in the banking sector. A review by the Financial Conduct Authority of 11 banks’ handling of financially distressed borrowers, including those struggling to repay taxpayer-backed pandemic loans, found “repeated instances of poor customer outcomes and failure to treat customers fairly”. – The temperature

A pioneering workplace savings scheme for garbage collectors and other lower-paid workers in Britain has produced remarkable levels of participation, which experts say could one day transform the way people save. Suez, the waste recovery and recycling group, had a participation rate 66 times higher than other employers by making its program opt-out rather than opt-in. – The Times

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