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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.
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...
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...
19 November 2019
South Korea: trade unions make inroads into Samsung Electronics
For the first time in fifty years a labor union affiliated with the South Korean umbrella union group, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), has established a presence at the Samsung Electronics company in South Korea. In the week of November 11 a trade union body affiliated with its Metallurgy federation secured governmental certification to establish within the electronics group, which has kept separate from trade union federations for half a century. This new union presence is thus a key advance for the...
18 November 2019
Germany: Verdi and ING-DiBa strike deal on ‘agreement for the future’, which introduces an individual training allowance
German labour union Verdi and the management of German bank ING-DiBa struck an agreement at the start of November to renew their collective agreement ‘for the future’ (Zukunftsvertrag), which is valid from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2022 and seeks to improve the ‘employability’ of the German bank’s workforce. This will occur through the bolstering of several measures that seek to help the bank’s 4,000 workers achieve a better work-life balance and improve their levels of training, in particular...
18 November 2019
France: how Coca-Cola European Partners France relaunched and rebuilt social dialogue to support its new business plan
With production volumes on the decline, a transformation of the French market, three redundancy plans in five years, CCEP France – which produces, bottles and markets Coca-Cola in France – has experienced a tense social climate with a strong level of mistrust between trade unions and management, as well as a ‘judicialization’ of its relations with the staff representation bodies. To support the new 2020-2022 strategy and the new business plan, the company’s human resources department has worked to...