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3 December 2019
Belgium: banking sector commits to further gender equality
On 21 November, Belgium’s Women in Finance association announced it had already achieved its goal of a charter promoting equal treatment between males and females that covers more than 90% of employees in the finance sector. Currently, thirty-four financial institutions (public and private and employers’ federations) representing 91% of the country’s finance sector employees have signed up to the ‘Women in Finance’ charter, the contents of which are based on the Women’s Empowerment Principles as set...
29 November 2019
Germany: BMW reaches agreement with works council to cut costs without resorting to staff reductions
The fast-paced shift towards electricity-powered vehicles and the digitalisation of production is piling pressure on the German automobile industry, a central pillar of the country’s economy. Like Volkswagen and, more recently, Audi before them, BMW has found itself needing to cut costs in order to protect its profit margins and level of investment in research and development. However, unlike its competitor based in Ingolstadt, the Munich-based manufacturer has managed to negotiate a company agreement with its...
29 November 2019
Finland: agreements reached in the postal and mail sectors
The negotiation of new collective agreements in Finland appears set to be fraught with difficulty, as demonstrated by recent strikes that have impacted the post office, mail services and, following solidarity strikes, air transport, ports and buses in the country. While agreements have been reached in the post and mail sector, strikes are planned in the metals and chemicals industries.
28 November 2019
ENGIE: joint declaration signed with its European Works Council on digital technology issues for the Group
On 28 November, Robert Textoris, ENGIE’s European Works Council (EWC) secretary, together with ENGIE’s CEO Isabelle Kocher, signed a joint declaration that sets out a ‘frame of reference common to all of the Group’s entities and employees’ and that will support them through digital transformations. It recommends the use of transparent social dialogue, as early as possible along transformation project timelines that cover the potential impacts and consequences in terms of training, and with a...
European Framework Agreement
27 November 2019
Siemens Gamesa: renewal of the Global Framework Agreement on Social Responsibility with IndustriALL Global
On 25 November the former Spanish-based wind turbine manufacturer and wind services provider that merged with Siemens in 2017 signed a Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with the IndustriALL Global Union federation. The new agreement strengthens commitments to fundamental labor rights, raises health and safety requirements and standards, especially vis-à-vis sub-contractors, contains references to a just transition, and intends for a due diligence plan based on OECD guidance for responsible business conduct. This...
25 November 2019
Germany: social partners in chemicals sector introduce first supplementary dependency insurance scheme as well as an ‘account for the future’
On Friday 22 November, the German trade union for mining, chemicals and energy – IG Bergbau, Chemie, Energie – and the country’s federation of chemicals sector employers – BAVC – signed a branch collective agreement that is innovative in nature. Signed in Wiesbaden, the agreement applies to the 580,000 workers in the sector. Employees will benefit from a measure that does not...
25 November 2019
EU: union organisation UNI Europa Finance sets out roadmap for 2019-2023
At the UNI Europa Finance Conference, held on 22 October in Torremolinos, Spain, finance sector union leaders adopted a resolution on the organisation’s strategic planning framework for up to the year 2023. The framework is based around three areas: building workers’ bargaining power; multinationals, trade union alliances and European Works Councils; and the key sectoral themes of European social dialogue.
22 November 2019
United States: several union leaders at United Automobile Workers accused of corruption
Two big bombshells in Detroit. Gary Jones, president of the United Automobile Workers union, has resigned from his role, while automobile manufacturing group General Motors has filed a lawsuit against competitor Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over alleged corruption. GM accuses FCA of having bribed representatives of the UAW in order to obtain “unique advantages, different and distinct”, a move that was intended to weaken GM and encourage it to merge with FCA. Dubbed ‘Operation Cylinder’, the push for a merger...
21 November 2019
Germany : Verdi service union critical of Zalando employee monitoring and digital ranking system
A new dispute has erupted between the services union, Verdi, and Europe’s largest online retailer, Zalando. A study published on 20 November and commissioned by the union-friendly Hans-Böckler Foundation has, for the first time, analyzed how a digital peer-employee ranking system operates at the German online retailer, Zalando, within its Berlin facility (2,000 staff), and the consequences thereof. ‘Zonar’ is the software employees can use to anonymously rank their co-workers. Staff are then classed into...
20 November 2019
EU: 5th EFFAT Congress held in Croatian capital Zagreb on 06 /07 November under the banner: ‘Organise, Fight and Win: A recipe for a stronger EFFAT’
‘EFFAT is standing at a crossroads.’ This opening statement from the EFFAT ( European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism) Action Plan that was adopted in Congress preceded a list of reasons including, ‘numerous challenges caused by the introduction of new technologies, climate change, neo-liberal policies, the rise of nationalism and capitalist greed, all of which are...