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11 November 2020
Germany: 2021 collective bargaining calendar
As it does every year, the Hans Böckler Trade Union Foundation has published Germany’s annual collective bargaining calendar, for the year ahead. In total, 2021 will see the renegotiation of wages, working hours and working conditions for almost 12 million employees. Among the most eagerly awaited...
5 November 2020
France: an agreement to make teleworking the norm and to transform the organization of work at InVivo
On 04 November the InVivo group (a structure comprising 201 cooperatives representing nearly 300,000 farmers) together with the CFE/CGC, CFDT, CFTC and FO trade unions, representing the majority of the relevant employees signed an agreement to switch at least 50% to 60% of the tertiary function’s working time into telework, to develop flex-office working, and to open up the potential for staggered working hours, and in this way making concrete the hitherto somewhat frustrated desire of many large French...
5 November 2020
Italy: Vodafone signs a smart working agreement to transform its organization and strengthen its work-life balance and inclusion policy
The agreement, reached with the telecommunications sector unions and the central staff representation RSU body on 29 October, will apply after the end of the health emergency period. The agreement concerns all of Vodafone Italy’s 6,000 employees and provisionally provides for between 60%-80% of working time to function in agile mode. Smart working is part of the company’s broader...
4 November 2020
Sweden: conflict between social partners over revisions to employee protection legislation is putting pressure on the coalition government
After a very close election result in 2018 and a political crisis that lasted several months, the Social Democrat-Green coalition had to reach an agreement with the Liberals and the Centre Party in order to form a government. An important part of this agreement was a commitment to modernize the Employment Protection Act (LAS) so as to adapt it to the current labour market, while still...
2 November 2020
Germany: new hostilty emerges in conflicts between works councils and company management (study)
Keen to protect rules on co-determination in Germany, trade unions in the country have produced a qualitative study – carried out through the Hans-Böckler trade union foundation –  that analyses the nature and form of conflicts between company management and works councils, on the basis of 28 case studies carried out at companies of a wide variety of sizes. Speaking to Planet Labor, sociologist Markus Hertwig, who led the study, discusses these conflicts and things that can be done to improve the situation....
28 October 2020
Poland: 28 October sees the nation’s women out on strike
On 22 October, Poland’s Constitutional Court ruled that abortion in cases of serious and irreversible disability or incurable disease of the foetus, even if the mother’s life is in danger, is not in accordance with the Constitution. The decision triggered a wave of protests that have since been erupting right across the country. This movement that is being coordinated by the ‘Strajk kobiet’ organisation (Women’s Strike organisation) called on women to stop working on 28 October, mirroring the...
27 October 2020
Spain: Inditex and unions reach agreement on conditions for the digital transition of group stores (update from 23 October incl. final agreement)
On 26 October, Spanish textile group Inditex (48,000 staff in Spain) together with the CCOO and UGT trade unions signed an agreement on the conditions for the shifting the group’s business towards the integration of more online activity, and which is expected to result in the closure (or absorption) by 2022 of between 250 and 300 outlets nationally down from the more than 1,500 (under...
21 October 2020
Italy: agri-food employers’ associations divided on the renewal of the national collective agreement
In July 2020, following tense negotiations between Federalimentare-Confindustria (employers) and the sector’s trade unions to renew the agri-food industry national collective agreement, three out of the total thirteen employers’ category associations dissented and have recently been backed by a further two making a total of five choosing to sign an agreement with the unions, effectively running counter to the advice of Federalimentare that had sought instead for a return to the negotiating table. These...
20 October 2020
Germany: Tesla puts the German model of worker participation to the test
US car manufacturer Tesla delighted Germany when it decided to build the group’s fourth super-plant (Gigafactory) and its first in Europe right next to Berlin. While the company has started a recruitment drive, the IG Metall union has offered it opportunity to commence dialogue on how it intends to comply with German labor law and legislation over participation in management bodies. IG Metall is currently still waiting for Tesla’s response and is also considering the nature of the company’s real...
19 October 2020
United Kingdom: forum established bringing together employers and unions to monitor the impact of future post-Brexit trade agreements on jobs and companies
As negotiations over trade agreements intensify ahead of the UK becoming fully independent of the EU on 1 January, the British government has decided to set up a new advisory body called the ‘trade union advisory group’. The creation of the group, which brings together business and trade union leaders and has already met once, has been welcomed by the Trades Union Congress (TUC),...
14 October 2020
France: two agreements signed at Airbus to avoid employment losses in the commercial aircraft production business
The Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft business has been abruptly halted by the crisis in air transport. Several tens of thousands of job cuts globally were planned before the summer, including just over 4,000 in France. After an initial round of discussions on the scope of this redundancy plan, French management and trade unions agreed to negotiate cost-cutting measures in order to reduce or even cancel the planned layoffs. As a result of these discussions, on 12 October two agreements were secured with the...