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31 March 2020
EU: the European Trade Union Confederation is calling on companies to refrain from shareholder dividend payments during the coronavirus pandemic
‘Trade unions are calling on banks and big business to do their bit to overcome the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis by suspending dividends payments and share buybacks,’ declared the ETUC in a press statement on 30 March. The same day French Ministers for the Economy and Labor warned that the State would not put up with a situation that saw companies accepting...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
31 March 2020
France: Airbus agreement for making up unworked hours during its production suspension period
On 20 March the Airbus Group signed an agreement that was supplemented on 26 March with an addendum treating unworked time (hours and days) due to the coronavirus pandemic. The addendum sets out a production suspension regime for the period running from 23 March to 5 April and defines ‘arrangements for a gradual resumption of activity out to the end of 2020, in line the needs of the different company’s divisions sectors and their individual workloads.’
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
30 March 2020
Germany: crisis agreements struck at Deutsche Telekom and ThyssenKrupp
Two new ‘crisis’ agreements, which were negotiated by video-conference, were announced last week at two major German companies in diverse sectors and differing economic conditions: Deutsche Telekom (60,000 employees) in the telecommunications sector (union: Verdi) and ThyssenKrupp (162,000 employees) in the steel industry (union: IG Metall). Although Deutsche Telekom is in much better financial health than ThyssenKrupp, which is currently undergoing a restructuring process, the two agreements have common...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
27 March 2020
Germany: chemical industry social partners strike crisis agreement
Social partners in Germany’s chemical industry, the IG BCE union and the employer confederation BAVC, this week unveiled a ‘crisis agreement’ that will apply until the end of the year. This agreement should make it possible to adapt certain provisions of the branch collective agreement, signed at the end of November 2019, and to increase the remuneration level of employees placed on short-time working.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
27 March 2020
France: agreement reached at Thales to manage the continuation of business, as well as its decline, amid the ongoing health crisis
Signed on 26 March by all the representative trade union organisations within at Thales (the CFDT, CFE-CGC, CFTC and CGT), the purpose of the agreement at the aerospace group is “to govern the principles and measures adopted within the group to support the adaptation of activities that cannot continue under the same conditions over the coming weeks”.  So as to make sure critical and strategic activities in particular are able to continue, as well as the business in general, the agreement contains commitments...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
26 March 2020
France: trade union call for shareholder solidarity support during the Covid-19 pandemic
On 25 March the CFDT trade union called for companies to abstain from paying dividends this a year that is beset by the negative consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘While the Covid-19 health crisis will have serious economic and social repercussions for many employees and companies, it would be indecent if, as in 2019, the CAC40 companies paid several billion euros in dividends to their shareholders this year. Some of these have already announced a dividend freeze for 2020… but unfortunately this is...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
25 March 2020
Italy: new agreement to protect banking sector employees with  branch offices only open for scheduled customer appointments
On 24 March Italy’s banking sector employers and trade union bodies together signed a new agreement that includes the anti-coronavirus protocol from the preceding week (c.f. article No. 11732). The primary measure of the new agreement intends for bank branches nationwide to only be open for scheduled customer appointments. The agreement puts a close to the standoff between the sector’s social partners that saw trade unions seeking a total 15 day closure  of all branch offices and the employers ABI body...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
24 March 2020
EU: IndustriALL Europe launches a debate on the definition for ‘essential production activities’
Europe’s industry trade union federation, IndustriALL Europe, has called for ‘stricter definitions of essential production in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and for workers’ rights to health protection to be safeguarded.’ As underlined in the press statement from 24 March, trade unions have reacted to a certain number of industrial activities in Italy and in Belgium having being designated as ‘essential’ and as such implying the requirement for workers to come to work and leave...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
24 March 2020
Italy: protecting workers in the transport-logistics sectors as well as those involved in home deliveries
While the halting of all non-essential activities that was decided between 21 and 22 March has provoked the ire of the trade unions for being too lax and which may prompt these union towards strike action (c.f. article No. 11753), agreements specifically designed to protect workers are nonetheless multiplying. On 20 March the Transport Ministry published guidelines (here) formulated together with the social partners that aim to protect workers in the transport and logistics sectors. Home delivery activities, which...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19