The ver.di trade union is running two weeks of action as part of its campaign to secure equal rights for workers employed by church organisations. Between 25 September and 6 October, union members will be out promoting the campaign petition with the aim of securing 4000 signatures. Currently church-based employers like the Diakonie and Caritas, organisations that employ hundreds of thousands of health and care workers, have special treatment under the law in relation to co-determination, collective bargaining and the right to strike. Ver.di wants this changed so that all workers have the same employment rights.
Union steps up campaign for equal rights for church employees
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The trade union ver.di has launched a petition calling on the government to ensure equal rights for workers employed by church organisations. Currently special rules apply to the major protestant and catholic employers who employ around 1.8 million people and run many health and care services, including hospitals, nursing homes and services, facilities for the disabled and youth welfare, emergency services, daycare centres, etc. As, ver.di points out, these are financed almost exclusively from tax revenues and social security contributions. Employees of these bodies have fewer protections
The ver.di services union has set up a new website as part of a campaign against church employers, who provide a range of social services and who want to deny their workers the right to strike. Ver.di has been successful in cases taken to regional labour courts over church employees’ right to strike. However, the Synod (parliament) of the Evangelical Church is planning to legislate against strike action in church law. Ver.di is planning a protest demonstration on 4 November in Magdeburg. [Read more at > ver.di (DE)->http://www.verdi.de/themen/nachrichten/++co++cf734d90-effd-11e0-5686
The three main trade union confederations – ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB – are taking further steps to defend trade union rights and particularly the rights to strike and protest. They will be joining other civil society and campaigning organisations on 5 October in a national demonstration against the Van Quickenborne law which will make it increasingly difficult to organise protests. The unions have already challenged attacks on trade union rights and particularly legal action taken against trade union strikers and protestors in the recent long-running Delhaize dispute in the retail