A successful legal case backed by the UNISON public services union means that employers will no longer be able to mistreat workers who take part in union-organised workplace disputes. UK law had previously prevented employers from sacking staff, but not from disciplining or making life difficult for them. The employment appeal tribunal (EAT) case was taken by care worker Fiona Mercer against the Alternative Futures Group. She had been involved in a long-running dispute and was disciplined, suspended, and prevented from going into work by her employer. The EAT said that UK law was not compliant with Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Legal case delivers better protection for striking workers
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In January the vpod public services union won an important case for live-in (24 hours) care workers. The federal court ruled that 24-hour carers, who are placed in private households by temporary employment agencies, must be covered by the labour code. Previously, these workers had no protection which meant no limit to working hours and no rights to rest or time-off because the labour code didn’t apply to working arrangements in private households. The union will continue to campaign for live-in care workers’ rights as the ruling does not apply to those directly employed by households.
The ETUC and European Trade Union Federations, including in particular the construction (EFBWW) and foodworkers (EFFAT) have attacked MEPs for voting to water down provisions of the Enforcement Directive. The Directive is intended to provide greater protection for posted workers but the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee (excluding the Socialists and Democrats and European United Left-Nordic Green Left) endorsed amendments that undermine the legislation. Posted workers could be denied the minimum wages and standards (including collective agreements) of their host
Public services union Unison is continuing to support a key case affecting outsourced workers that is now going to the European Court of Justice. The union argues that workers transferred to the Parkwood company by Lewisham Council in South East London have the right, under the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations (Acquired Rights Directive) to continue to benefit from pay increases negotiated as part of the national local government agreement. The outcome of the case has implications for thousands of other workers across the sector. [Read more at > Unison (EN)->http://www.unison.org.uk