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2015 July epsucob@NEWS 11

Italy - national protest over collective bargaining; Bosnia - demonstration against labour law; UK - National Gallery campaign to escalate; Ireland - unions welcome new collective bargaining law; Austria - more workers covered by collective bargaining

National protest over public sector bargaining

The general secretaries of the public service federations - FP CGIL, CISL FP, UIL FPL, and UILPA - have made a further call for an immediate return to collective bargaining in the public sector following the national demonstration they organised in Rome on 29 July. The unions argue that key issues like reducing waste, improving organizational innovation and investing in skills can best be addressed through negotiations. The federations have made clear that further mobilisations will follow (...)

Major protest against new labour law

Thousands of workers joined a demonstration in Sarajevo in opposition to a new labour code adopted by the parliament of the Bosnian Federation. The protestors were also joined by trade unionists from Repubika Srpska where the labour code will be debated in parliament later this year. Trade unions are concerned about the weakening of employment rights enshrined in the legislation which is being adopted by the government in response to pressures to agree labour reforms to meet lending (...)

National Gallery staff plan all-out strike

The long-running dispute over privatisation at the National Gallery in central London is set to continue as the PCS union threatens an all-out strike of its members. The union has been campaigning against proposals by the Gallery to contract out staff who provide visitor services. The union says that it has alternative proposals and is calling on the management to agree to talks at the the ACAS arbitration and conciliation service in order to achieve a negotiated settlement. Read more at > (...)

Unions plug another gap in collective bargaining

The vida and GPA-djp trade unions have negotiated a new collective agreement for around 600 emergency and medical workers employed by the non-profit Samaritan federation. The new agreement, running from 1 July, will mean a further increase in the country’s already high level of collective bargaining coverage. The agreement will be developed in annual negotiations over the next few years but already means that workers will be guaranteed six weeks’ annual leave. Read more at > vida (...)

Federations call for end to 12-hour shifts

The FO, CGT, SUD and UNSA health federations have written to the health minister calling for an end to 12-hour shifts in the public health sector. Referring to evidence presented to the health and safety committee for the sector, the unions highlight the increased risks faced by those working 12 hour shifts compared to workers on eight hour shifts. The evidence shows greater risks of musculo-skeletal disorders and other health complaints, including high blood pressure and diabetes. There is (...)

Union challenges outsourcing company over redundancy pay

Probation unions GMB, Napo and UNISON are calling on multi-national company Sodexo to honour the redundancy terms which workers are due as a result of the company’s plans to cut 436 staff (nearly 40% of staff). Sodexo was awarded six contracts to run probation services in 10 counties across England in February 2015. The company is now seeking to impose a severance package that is worth less than half what members are owed. Read more at > (...)

New agreement in general practice

The FNV and CNV trade unions have negotiated a new two-year agreement covering workers in general practices. In terms of pay the agreement, backdated to 1 March 2015 will deliver a 3.75% increase in four stages. There are also provisions on shift work and annual leave affecting older workers and additional funds for trainees. Read more at > FNV (NL)

ILO asked to intervene over new legislation

Letter to parliament The ITUC along with the national confederations - FPU and KVPU - have written to the International Labour Organisation to raise serious concerns about draft legislation that has just passed through its first reading in parliament. The Confederations argue that, if passed, the legislation will undermine trade union autonomy and restrict international union democracy. The joint letter calls for an evaluation by the ILO on the basis that the law would conflict Convention (...)

Unions welcome new collective bargaining legislation

Legislation just passed in parliament will provide important new rights for trade unions. It allow trade unions to represent members at the Labour Court where employers refuse to recognise unions, and secure legally binding benefits for workers. The legislation also defines what constitutes “collective bargaining” and offers guidelines to help the Labour Court identify if internal bargaining bodies are genuinely independent of their employer. Unions and worker representatives will be able to (...)

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