Oct. 09, 2019 Over 200 staff at the Schildautal hospital in Seesen in Lower Saxony took strike action on 4 October in defiance of threats from management that they would be dismissed. The hospital is owned by Asklepios, the second biggest private hospital group in Germany. The health union ver.di wants to negotiate a collective agreement that would bring pay in line with the public sector. However, the company not only refuses to negotiate but has threatened strikers with the sack and promised bonuses to strike breakers. The recent ver.di congress sent a message of solidarity to workers at the hospital.
Oct. 03, 2019
EPSU has co-signed an appeal of 88 organisations which demands the European Commission introduce new corporate accountability legislation requiring companies to respect human rights and the environment in their global value chains and operations.
Sep. 13, 2019 A nine-month long dispute between the PCS civil service union and contractors ISS and Aramark could be near to conclusion if details of a pay offer are confirmed. The companies provide services to the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy which has indicated that the contractors may meet the union's demand to pay the London living wage of £10.55 (EUR 11.80) an hour. Meanwhile, the union is planning another five days of strike action in another long-running dispute, this time over union recognition at the contractor Interserve which provides services for the Foreign Office.
Aug. 26, 2019
Against the background of the dismissal of mayors and the imposition of trustees in major towns in the South East of Turkey, delegates of the municipal services union Genel-Is gathered for their 17th Congress.
Aug. 23, 2019 The GPA-djp private services union has strongly attacked the VKKJ organisation that provides care to disabled children for using an injunction to try to prevent its works councils from organising any kind of strike or protest to secure improvements in pay and conditions. The VKKJ has not signed up to the social services sector agreement and the works councils had successfully campaigned to bring pay at the organisation in line with that agreement but that's when VKKJ took the legal step. The union has offered to go to mediation but the employer has rejected this. The GPA-djp will strongly defend the case and the right to take action.
Aug. 21, 2019 The Hizmet-Is public service union has been running a major campaign for the reinstatement of 97 workers sacked by the mayor of the Bolu municipality in North West Turkey. No reasons were given for the sackings and the workers have been protesting for over 110 days and even marched the 200 km to Ankara in protest. EPSU has sent a letter of protest to the mayor asking for the workers to be reinstated. See also the campaign involving Genel-Is, fighting for the rights of workers sacked by the Aliağa municipality, reported in the previous issue of the newsletter.
Aug. 21, 2019 Seven trade union organisations, including the CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA, representing 85% of all firefighters have been taking strike action to demand improvements in pay and for a significant increase in jobs. The joint actions began in June and are running until the end of August. The unions want to see the withdrawal of legislation on public service reform and a number of other measures to improve pay, health and safety, pensions and trade union rights. A key demand is an increase in recruitment on statutory conditions. There are 40000 professional firefighters. This is the same number as in 2009 but callouts have increased by 15% since then.
Aug. 08, 2019 Local government workers employed by the Aliağa Municipality in Izmir are being sacked without justification and the newly elected mayor is also forcing workers to resign from their union, Genel-İş, and to join another one. The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24 and workers have been picketing since the 20 May, demanding reinstatement and respect for trade union rights and freedoms. Online support is being coordinated by the Labourstart campaigning organisation and promoted by EPSU and PSI.
Jun. 27, 2019
Public Services unions in Inter-Americas speaking out against corporate power – a complete transformation needed
Attacks on trade union rights, the growth of corporate power and capture of the state by these companies and the impact of privatisation were among the themes discussed at the regional conference for the InterAmericas of PSI.
Jun. 21, 2019 The latest report on global trade union rights from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reveals a deterioration of workers’ rights across the world. The greatest increase in cases where workers were denied the right to establish or join a trade union was experienced in Europe where 50% of countries now exclude groups of workers, up from 20% in 2018. The report also highlights the fact that “Europe, traditionally the mainstay of collective bargaining rights, saw companies in Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain seek to undermine or circumvent workers’ rights.”
Jun. 04, 2019
President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has called for public service workers and their unions to take the lead on climate change, gender equality and a fairer economy in a keynote speech to open the Congress of EPSU in Dublin, which will run until 7th June.
May. 29, 2019 The SUEPO trade union, representing staff at the European Patent Office (EPO), says that it will take strike action in June unless management responds to a series of key demands on fair pay and fair treatment of workers. There had been a very difficult industrial relations climate at EPO for some time but with the appointment of a new president last year there was some hope for an improvement. However, a recent staff survey reveals continuing problems and more or less a continuation of the hardline management of the old regime. A ballot for strike action will have to take place by the middle of June for a strike to take place at the end of June to coincide with the EPO administrative council.