EPSU has sent solidarity greetings to members of the ver.di services union who are taking strike action against the Celenus care company, a subsidiary of the French multinational Orpea. The company has sacked worker representatives, has threatened to outsource cleaning jobs and refuses to negotiate a collective agreement.
Care company attacks workers' rights
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Protest action and a petition promoted by the vpod/ssp public services union and supported by other trade unions, political parties and civil society has led to a change to draft legislation in the Freibourg/Fribourg region that would have removed the right to strike for care workers (see epsucob@NEWS 15, 2017). The union said that the mobilisation of care staff had been important for the outcome and reinforces the importance of the right to strike in underpinning the unions' ability to negotiate effectively.
Trade unions across the country are working together to resist state interference in trade union affairs and attempts to take over trade union property including offices and training centres. The latest incident occurred in the Zarpattia region in the west of the country where trade union activists from different sectors gathered at the entrance to the offices of the regional trade union council to physically resist attempts to take over the building by the authorities.