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13 March 2020
Spain: employer and union organisations come together to demand exceptional measures to quickly ease impact of coronavirus
The CCOO and UGT trade unions, as well as the employer confederations CEOE and Cepyme, have together drawn up a document setting out their joint proposals for dealing with the coronavirus and cushioning the impact of the health crisis on companies and employment. They set out their demands through a videoconference with the head of state on Thursday 12 March. In particular, they are calling for the recourse to partial or temporary unemployment to be simplified, as well as extraordinary measures to reduce the time...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
13 March 2020
Argentina: new waves of branch negotiations to take place against ever uncertain backdrop
Sectoral wage negotiations are in full swing in Argentina, against an economic backdrop that is as uncertain as it is tough. These are the first such talks to take place since the centre-left government of Alberto Fernández came to power in December. Wage increases in fixed tranches appear to be the approach being favoured, for example by the commerce sector trade union, so as to avoid feeding into the inflation outlook while reinvigorating the purchasing power of the lowest paid. Although the restoration of...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
11 March 2020
Germany: Amazon Deutschland affiliates with the HDE, the German Retail Federation, but without applying sector collective agreements
The German Retail Federation, Handelverband Deutschland – HDE, together with the US online retailing giant Amazon have confirmed that in February 2020 Amazon entered the HDE umbrella federation. However the company opted for membership without application of sector collective agreements (OT status). Services union Verdi, which has been battling Amazon for five years, has protested the decision, recalling that Amazon has always refused to apply retail sector salary agreements, preferring instead to apply the more...
9 March 2020
Germany: services union Verdi publishes ethical principles for the use of artificial intelligence
On 3 March, German service sector union Verdi published its “guidelines for employing artificial intelligence”. Presented as a document “for debate” on the topic of AI technology, the text actually goes into more detail when compared to what is currently seen at many companies and organisations. The very practical nature of the guidelines and recommendations is the result of a process of reflection and exchange launched two years ago. Nadine Müller, who leads the ‘Innovation and Quality of Work’...
6 March 2020
Italy: with some 10,000 banking sector jobs set to be cut, the impact of digitalisation is the subject of debate
Three of Italy’s largest banks – UniCredit, UBI Banca and Banca Popolare di Milano – have in recent weeks announced thousands of job cuts as part of their respective strategic plans. Some 10,000 staff will depart, for the most part through early retirement arrangements. Unions in Italy, who are demanding that young people be recruited to counterbalance half of these departures, dispute the banks’ claims that the rise of digitalisation is a reason to cut jobs and close down branches. The evolution of the...
6 March 2020
United States: employees of Beneficial bank to join union
California-based bank Beneficial, which was co-founded by billionaire Tom Steyer, a philanthropist who recently dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 US Presidential Election, has opened its doors to the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The trade union relied on the work done by the Committee for Better Banks, a coalition of employees, unions, consumer groups and churches set up in 2014 to address the lack of union presence in the banking profession. The CWA says its presence...
4 March 2020
Mexico: businesses backing staff that take part in 09 March women’s strike
Mexico’s ‘national women’s strike’ that is set for 09 March was launched by the feminist group Brujas del mar via Facebook back in September 2019. The strike action has garnered unprecedented support from both political leaders and the business community at a time when violence towards women is markedly on the increase (+136% since 2015). Several public sector institutions along with major companies across many sectors (see here for the list provided by the daily El Economista publication on 03 March) have...
2 March 2020
Finland: new round of collective agreements sees removal of provisions of ‘competitiveness pact’ introduced by previous government
After a chaotic start to the year that saw the announcement of new strikes following those in December 2019, which threatened to completely paralyse the country, as well as trade unions calling into question the national conciliator Vuokko Piekkala, February began with strike warnings in many sectors and was rounded off with collective agreements in some important sectors being...
2 March 2020
Italy: fraught negotiations to renew collective agreements in several key sectors
Italy’s engineering and metals sector trade unions are beginning to get impatient, after their collective agreement, which covers some 1.5 million workers, expired on 31 December 2019. The fourth plenary meeting with employer organisations was held on 19 February but remained generic. Negotiations are continuing at present at a technical level on five themes (training, security, the job scale, active employment policies, social relations), but the question of wages will not be tackled before the next plenary...
27 February 2020
Italy: telecoms trade unions attack Iliad’s business methods
The source of this spat lies in a survey commissioned by Italy’s fourth largest telecoms operator, and carried out by the I-Com think tank. The report stated, ‘Iliad’s Italian business makes a significant economic growth impact,’ and investment by the operator would generate more than 34,000 new jobs (direst, indirect and sub-contractor jobs). The sector’s trade unions, SLC-Cgil, Fistel-Cisl, and Uilcom responded to the report scathingly saying, ‘the telecoms sector is in deep crisis due to aggressive...