Tuesday, July 06, 2010

World Cup saps office output around globe, but many companies won't fight the beautiful game

Italy's Fiat said workers at the Termini Imerese plant staged a two-hour strike to protest the company's decision not to allow TVs during Italy's opening game against Paraguay on June 14. The roughly 700 night-shift workers simply walked off the job two hours early -- conveniently, a half hour before game time.

SHOOT: Timing a good strike is everything.
clipped from finance.yahoo.com

BERLIN (AP) -- Told they couldn't watch the World Cup on the job, Italian auto workers went on strike -- conveniently, a half hour before game time. German companies set up office viewing areas to keep employees from defecting on game days.

And Brazil? Brazil basically shuts down when its team plays, with businesses and schools closed and elective surgery put off so people can be in front of a TV.

The soccer tournament is the world's most watched sporting event, and the fact that it comes around only once every four years is probably fortunate for anyone trying to get some work done.

One study suggests the German economy, Europe's largest, loses more than $8 billion in productivity, about 0.27 percent of gross domestic product, during the monthlong tournament. Surveys in Britain predict output losses there of $1.5 billion to $2.3 billion.

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