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18 January 2021
United Kingdom: trade unions boosted by the pandemic (study)
Amid a technological boom, positive results in negotiations with the government and an upsurge in membership, UK trade unions have enjoyed an unprecedented revival during this health crisis, according to a new report entitled “Covid-19 and the work of trade unions: new challenges and new responses”. Unveiled on 14 January by Union 21, a forum for trade unions, the study however warns that the coming months could prove more difficult for these organisations, which will have to prepare themselves for mass...
18 January 2021
United States: unionisation campaign at Amazon in Alabama
Amazon employees at one of the e-commerce giant’s fulfilment centres – in Birmingham, Alabama – are to vote on whether they want to join a trade union. The process will be supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. The 6,000 workers, which includes full-time, part-time and seasonal staff, will be able to vote by mail from 8 February until 29 March. If there is a vote in favour, the workers will join the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which already has a presence at department...
14 January 2021
Great Britain: Morrisons is set to become the first UK supermarket to pay its employees at least £10 (€11.20) per hour
This new basic hourly rate of £10 per hour (€11.22 E) was negotiated as part of a wage agreement by the retail trade union, Usdaw, which is now asking its members to formally accept this landmark deal, and which if approved, will take effect from 05 April 2021. Morrisons said that 96,000 employees, currently being paid £9.20 pounds per hour (€10.32), should benefit from this increase that will raise their pay above the Living Wage level of £9.50 (€10.66). For Usdaw national officer, Joanne McGuinness,...
5 January 2021
Germany: IG Metall calling to reset the balance between employee and capital representatives on corporate supervisory boards
German trade unions are starting call for a shift in the current distribution of voting rights on corporate supervisory boards between shareholder representatives and those representing employees. The main driver behind this call is the IG Metall union, which believes that during the current round of sector-based collective bargaining, employee opinion can take priority as regards decisions on the implications of the digital and electrical transitions as well as on the future of the production sites. The IG BCE...
5 January 2021
United States: Google gets a trade union
Two software engineers working at the Alphabet group, Google’s parent company, have just triggered a ‘mini-bomb’ in the form of their newly created Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) that is affiliated with the CWA, Communication Workers of America, which traditionally represents telecommunications and media personnel in North America. Rather than assuming a negotiating role (AWU is a minority trade union) the AWU body instead intends to draw attention to certain discriminatory practices for which the Google is being criticized.
17 December 2020
Italy: the fashion and luxury goods sector reviews working conditions at its Italy-based suppliers
Following articles in the Italian press that raised questions over working conditions and especially remuneration for workers in companies that supply the luxury fashion industry, the National Chamber of Italian Fashion decided to carry out a wide-ranging review. Its assessment report, published on 15 December was based on a consultation of 1,100 employees. As well as providing a more positive picture of working conditions than those being speculated, the assessment also underscores the importance of sector-based...
17 December 2020
Italy: agreement signed that redefines industrial relations to facilitate energy transition at ENI
ENI’s ‘Insieme’ (Together) agreement was signed at the start of December and is intended to facilitate the multinational oil and gas company’s carbon emissions reduction process. As the general secretaries of the signatory unions point out, the group will undergo a sharp reduction in its oil business in the coming years and a concomitant rise in greener alternatives. The aim of this three-year protocol agreement is to enable joint governance of this transformation process by creating new bilateral bodies...
15 December 2020
United States: UAW to get an independent monitor
The powerful American automobile union UAW (Union Auto Workers) has agreed to outside monitoring for a period of six years. Thus the outcome of an agreement concluded between UAW president Rory Gamble and a US Attorney Matthew Schneider, following a more than three-years long investigation for corruption, bribery and embezzlement. The agreement for an independent monitor that will be appointed for several years means the UAW can avoid the worst, namely federal supervision.
14 December 2020
Spain: agreement at Santander on 3,572 job cuts, with option of early retirement from the age of 50
The management at Spain’s largest bank Santander reached an agreement in principle with trade unions on 10 December as regards the conditions for the departure of 3,572 employees, the reassignment of 1,100 employees to other entities in the group, and the transfer of 400 employees to Santander Digital, the lender’s customer service and online account management hub. Representatives say they agree in principle with the plan but it will need to be approved by employees on 15 December, before it can be officially...
11 December 2020
France: social partners strike national agreement making prevention the cornerstone of occupational health
This week, trade union and employer organisations in France struck an interprofessional agreement on occupational health. The negotiators from all the employer bodies issued a favourable opinion on the text, while CGT union rejected the deal. Under the text, efforts to ensure occupational health are focused on a preventive approach. Meanwhile the text enshrines the role of employee representatives when it comes to preventing occupational risks and aims to protect employees from social exclusion and focuses on the...