The STAL municipal union has joined with the FIEQUMETAL industrial union in a series of public “tribunals” to denounce the EGF/Mota&Engil waste and construction company. The unions’ aim is to expose the poverty wages paid by the company and its failure to enter into a proper process of collective bargaining. The joint action started in Coimbra in central Portugal on 12 July, moving on to Guimarães in the north of the country on 20 July with further events planned for 26 July and 2 August. The two unions argue that the company is denying them the right to collective bargaining while maintaining
Trade unions in the electricity and waste sectors reported very high levels of support for their industrial action and protests on 30 June. The unions want article 177 of the procurement code to be deleted as they argue that it requires widespread outsourcing across their sectors, posing a major threat to jobs and working conditions. They say that if the article is not deleted there will be increasing fragmentation of these industries and it will undermine initiatives towards a circular economy and low carbon energy sector. Meanwhile, the three main confederations have also been mobilising to
Following raids by the Federal Competition Authority on waste companies the vida services union has renewed calls for a collective agreement for the sector and stricter procurement criteria. The union says that discussions about a collective agreement have been going on for more than 10 years and that it is time for those responsible to finally take the final step. However, the union argues that there is also an urgent need for binding criteria for the award of contracts based on the best bidder principle rather than lowest price. This would mean specifying issues such as the sustainability of
The FNV has been coordinating a series of actions by waste workers in support of its 5% pay claim for the sector. The union says that the employers’ “final” offer on pay is unacceptable as it would mean that some workers would not even see their purchasing power protected. The actions, including drive-in meetings, target different waste companies at different times and are aimed at raising the visibility of the dispute and are in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.
The FNV trade union is seeking a 5% pay increase from 1 January 2021 for the 7000 workers in the private waste sector. It is also claiming a EUR 500 bonus in recognition of the increased risks that workers have faced during the pandemic. A 5% increase would be worth around EUR 50 gross per month, but the employers have only offered an increase worth EUR 40 gross as of 1 June. They have also only offered a EUR 250 lump sum. There, however, agreement on other issues including pensions and sustainable employment. The union will consider work stoppages if the employers don’t come up with a better
The mobilisation of workers in the EGF waste company on 18 December, reported in the EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter last month, was followed up with a 48-hour strike on 28 and 29 December. The action is part of a campaign by the STAL trade union to secure an increase in pay, payment of a supplement for risky and arduous work and a collective agreement. Meanwhile, in the public sector the SINTAP trade union has welcomed the inclusion in the 2021 state budget of provisions to allow for arduous work payments for waste and other workers in local government. However, the government has left
The SEP nurses’ union took part in a week of action (7-11 December) coordinated by the CGTP trade union confederation. For the SEP the key issues are precarious employment, recruitment and working time. The union wants to see all nurses on precarious contracts switched to permanent employment and argues that all nurses, regardless of contract, should accumulate points for their career progression. The SEP is also calling for increased recruitment, an end to 12-hour shifts and action to ensure a 35-hour week. Meanwhile, workers employed by the EGF waste company handed in a petition to the
Last Friday, 23rd October, Vera Weghmann from the Public Service International Research Unit presented her recent report, “Safe Jobs in the Circular Economy - Health and Safety in Waste and Wastewater Management” in a webinar organised by EPSU
The German subsidiary of the Veolia environmental services multinational has agreed to set up a €1 million pandemic fund after negotiations with the ver.di trade union. The fund will be available until the end of 2020 and will provide financial support of up to €10000 to workers who have been affected by COVID-19. The employees who could benefit include workers with children under 12 who can't find childcare, single parents, workers with other care responsibilities and who have been through family bereavements. The company implemented a short-time working agreement and topped up the funding
The STAL municipal services union has negotiated an agreement with the AMBILITAL inter-municipal waste company that provides for an extraordinary allowance of 300 euros for all workers and guarantees to protect the incomes of workers subject to containment measures during the COVID-19 outbreak. The union sees these as essential measures to address the current emergency and reflect STAL’s longstanding aim to achieve greater recognition of the arduousness nature of the work in the sector.
The coronavirus pandemic has now infected more than 2 million people worldwide and caused over 145,000 deaths. Like so many other key workers, workers in the waste collection, water and energy distribution sectors are risking their lives