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30 March 2021
Germany: pilot agreement struck the metallurgy industry in North Rhine-Westphalia
As expected, at daybreak on Tuesday 30 March, and following months of tense negotiations that have been marked by several warning strikes, the social partners in the metallurgy industry concluded a new collective agreement for the 700,000 employees in the North Rhine-Westphalia metallurgy sector. As a pilot regional agreement, it is now expected to be taken up by the other regions and applied to Germany’s 3.8 million metallurgy workers. The new 21-month agreement provides for the payment of a €500 ‘Covid...
30 March 2021
United States: trade union activists at Amazon and Alphabet share their tips
Following the close on 29 March of a more than month-long unionization poll of Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, the vote counting process has commenced and the results are expected in the next few days. The event marks a major advance for the American labour movement with the Tech industry representing a significant testing ground for the trade union organizations. The Tech industry employs a great number of workers and their membership could help reinvigorate struggling trade union organizations....
29 March 2021
Germany: steel industry workers obtain ‘Covid bonus’ and additional annual payments
On Saturday 27 March, social partners in the steel industry of norther Germany struck a new collective agreement for the 70,000 employees in the sector, in the Länder of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Bremen. Those employees covered by the deal will be eligible for a so-called ‘Covid bonus’, an exceptional payment of €500, which will be paid on 30 June 2021. They will then receive an additional payment each year, amounting to €600 from 2023. Depending on the economic situation of the...
29 March 2021
United States: NLRB orders Elon Musk to delete a tweet threatening employees tempted by union representation
Could Twitter become a new terrain for industrial relations? That idea is perhaps not so appealing to the US National Labor Relations Board, which has ordered electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla to ask its chief executive Elon Musk to delete a tweet from 2018, in which he said: “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant [in Fremont, California, ed] from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing? Our safety record is 2X better than when plant...
26 March 2021
Spain: collective agreement for large retailers provisionally renewed, integrating law on remote work
On 24 March, the trade unions CCOO, Fagsa, Fetico and UGT penned an agreement with Anged, the association of large retailers in Spain, which partially renews the sector’s collective agreement. Presented by negotiators as a ‘transitional agreement’, the deal succeeds the 2017-2020 collective agreement (see article n°10180) and seeks to guide the evolution of a sector undergoing a fundamental shift. The agreement will last for two years (2021-2022) and concerns the El Corte Inglés department stores, as well...
25 March 2021
EU: ETUC seeks to help its members strategically reposition given the democratic and social challenges in the post-Covid-19 era
Based on the observation that the pandemic ‘removes all our certainties’ and necessarily leads us to reflect upon the world of tomorrow, the ETUC’s Rethinking project seeks to position the confederation at a strategic level. This project draws on several debates that occurred towards the end of 2020 with various experts, academics and trade unionists. To capture their content and ‘strengthen’ the strategic thinking of the trade union movement, the ETUC has launched a website hosting 8 overview videos...
22 March 2021
Sodexo: declaration of intent signed with IUF to improve protection of staff, including when working at client sites
Sodexo, the French food services and facilities management company, and the IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations), signed a joint declaration on 19 March in which the French group makes a commitment to improving health and safety standards across its global operations, including at client sites, where the majority of its employees work. Sodexo says it will work alongside its clients to implement these health and safety...
18 March 2021
Italy: banking sector social partners secure agreement on workplace vaccinations
Following the recent industrial sector agreement (c.f. article No.12411), Italy’s banking sector is also making itself available for an employee vaccination program. The agreement dated 17 March (here) between the employers’ organization ABI (Associazione Bancaria Italiana) and the trade unions Fabi, First-Cisl, Fisac-Cgil, Uilca and Unisin will allow banking sector workers to be vaccinated directly at their place of work, when the vaccines become available. The social partners “undertake to quickly...
17 March 2021
EU: the UNI Europa Finance trade union federation and European insurance sector employers sign joint declaration on Responsible AI
On 16 March, UNI Europa Finance together with the European insurance sector employers – Insurance Europe, BIPAR and AMICE – signed a Joint Declaration on Artificial Intelligence ‘to encourage social partners at all levels in the insurance sector to deal with artificial intelligence (AI) in a reasonable way that provides opportunities for the sector and its employees.’ The signatories, who are affected by AI use, maintain that AI technology per se is neither good nor bad and that its use must be shaped...
16 March 2021
Italy: new agreement at TIM (formerly Telecom Italia) to speed up early retirements and facilitate generational renewal
On 08 March the TIM telecommunications group together with the SLC-Cgil, Fistel-Cisl, Uilcom and UGL Telecomunicazioni unions signed an agreement providing for 1,300 voluntary early retirements by 30 November 2021, which will apply to workers becoming eligible for pension rights prior to the end of 2026. Similar agreements have already facilitated the departure of a total of around 4,500 people over the last two years. The agreement notes that TIM is operating amid ‘strong competitive pressure and profound...