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3 October 2019
Germany: persistent East-West pay gap
According to a survey by the Hans Böckler Foundation (trade unions) released two days ahead of Germany’s national unity day, and almost thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, employees in the east of the country continue to earn much less than their colleagues in the western Länders. For a given qualifications level, professional experience, profession and gender, the east-west pay gap amounts to 16.9%. The pay differential is even greater for employees having undertaken occupational training or having achieved additional professional training qualifications, while it is less pronounced for university degree holders....
1 October 2019
Greece: trade unions mobilize in protest at ‘Growth Policy draft law’
For the second time in September, private and public sector trade unions have called for strike action, this time to take place on 02 October. The unions are protesting the ‘Growth Policy draft law’, so-called by the new ruling conservative government, and which in particular, includes measures addressing collective conventions as well as the right to strike.
30 September 2019
Ireland : coalition of NGOs and unions join international campaign for a four-day week
On 26 September in Ireland, the creation of a new “coalition of businesses, unions, environmentalists, academics and NGOs” was announced, in line with the international campaign to establish a four-day week, launched in February 2018 in New Zealand and taken up also in the UK. This coalition plans to support employers wanting to establish a four-day working week (see press release). The initiative, dubbed “4DWI” (Four Day Week Ireland), is “the Irish leg of an international campaign to establish a...
30 September 2019
Spain: new collective agreement and voluntary redundancy plan open to over-53s at Telefónica
Company leadership and trade unions (UGT and CCOO) at Telefónica agreed to renew the collective agreement that applies to the Spanish telecommunications group’s three main branches in its home market, covering its different areas of activity: Telefónica España, Telefónica Móviles España and Telefónica Soluciones de Informatica y de Comunicaciones. Signed on 27 September, the renewed agreement will last for three years and applies to some 21,000 employees in Spain. The text sets out conditions for the...
26 September 2019
United States: USW union secures a presence in a Google contractor company
On 24 September 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 80 employees at the IT services company HCL voted by a 61% majority to join the United Steelworkers Union and have the union represent their interests. The IT services provision HCL staff who work on a daily basis alongside staff at the internet giant Google, are now joining forces with the 850,000 workers who are already USW members. They will organize under the Pittsburgh Association of Tech Professionals (PATP) that supports Pittsburgh and Southwestern...
26 September 2019
Germany: chemicals union seeks the implementation f an ‘Account for the Future’ during the upcoming collective negotiations
On 19 September, and following earlier grass-roots consultations, the Federal Commission for the Chemicals and Energy sector union’s (IG BCE) collective negotiations published the trade union’s platform of demands that it will be advocating during the renegotiation of the sector’s collective agreement, which will impact some 580,000 employees. Key among its demands is the implementation of a ‘Zukunftskonto’ (‘Account for the Future’) amounting to €1,000 per employee, per annum. Focused on securing...
26 September 2019
Poland: social partners call on government to set up a new skills-enhancement fund
On 18 September 2019 during the Social Dialogue Council meeting, the social partners adopted a resolution calling on the government to set up a fund for bettering qualifications and competences (FPKiK). This new fund would aim to tackle skilled manpower shortages and would also fund training efforts set to improve qualifications and competences.
25 September 2019
Germany: Verdi’s new president, Frank Werneke seeks to gain ground in companies without collective agreements
A page is turning for Germany’s second largest trade union.* The 1.9 million members of the services union Verdi are to get a new president as its founding leader Frank Bsirske (age 67) steps aside following 18 years at the helm. On 24 September 92% of the 1,000 delegates attending Verdi’s national congress meeting in Leipzig voted Frank Werneke into the role of President. In an address on the day after his election, the union’s hitherto 17-year vice-president presented its primary axes for action for the...
25 September 2019
Austria: Metallurgy sector collective negotiations get underway that ‘Should be heard in the tills!’
On 23 September in Austria’s capital Vienna, the head of the PRO-GE industry union, Rainer Wimmer used these words to summarize the goals of his own organization and that of the private sector GPA union, both of which are stakeholders on one side of Austria’s metallurgy sector collective negotiations, with the FTMI (Fachverband Metalltechnische Industrie) employers’ body facing them from the other. The unions are negotiating for some 126,500 employees (1,200 businesses) and they have presented their demands...
25 September 2019
United States: a drivers association mobilizes to defend the AB 5 law
Behind Californian Assembly Bill 5 that facilitates the official recognition of employee status for drivers with Uber and its competitor, Lyft, can be found the RSDU association – the Rideshare Driver United association, which is an association of approximately 7,000 members (5,000 of whom in California) that uses an ‘app’ to mobilize action and in this way gain advantage from the digital tools that are much prized by the gig economy.