After several weeks of conflict, rallies and the threat of strike action, the HSMCTU health union, with the support of the GTUC confederation, secured an agreement from the Ministry of Health that it would not introduce a 12-hour work schedule for paramedics. The Ministry also agreed to remunerate employees’ overtime work and to have further meetings with the union to discuss how to increase salaries. The dispute had arisen following the Ministry’s decision to remove a wage supplement that had been introduced during the Covid pandemic and its plan to introduce a 12-hour work schedule
The Economic Policy Institute in the US has just published research that reveals the impact of declining union density and collective bargaining on wages. It finds, for example, that falling union membership translates to a loss of $1.56 (€1.47) per hour worked for the average worker, the equivalent of $3,250 (€3,070) for a full-time, full-year worker. Meanwhile, the erosion of collective bargaining lowered the median hourly wage also by $1.56 (€1.47), a 7.9% decline (0.2% annually), from 1979 to 2017. An analysis of wage distribution found that declining unionisation had widened inequality
Fighting continues after the Russian army invaded Ukraine. The Ukrainian unions thank all for the messages of solidarity and support. It is now important to turn that in concrete assistance. The financial support via the ETUC/ITUC solidarity fund remains important.
The US government has set out 70 recommendations to encourage collective bargaining and union membership making it easier for many federal employees to join unions and eliminating barriers for union organizers to talk with workers. A report by the administration’s Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, says, “it is our administration’s belief that unions benefit all of us.” The report notes that union households earn up to 20% more than non-union households, with an even greater union advantage for workers with less formal education and workers of colour. The report calls for
After two days of rallies and protests by waste workers, Tbilisi city council agreed to increase the salaries of employees of the Tbilservice waste management company from January 2022 and to solve a range of other issues by the end of August. The trade union of services, banks and utilities negotiated a number of measures relating to the inviolability of the protesters; cancellation of planned changes to work schedules; granting of employee insurance from 1 January 2022; additional paid leave to 24 working days; update of special clothes provision; and upgrading of vehicles.
Respect for trade union rights, collective bargaining and social dialogue part of our democratic values – say North East European constituency unions
The EPSU affiliates of North East Europe expressed their concerns about developments in the region in the online meeting of the North East European constituency on 3 March. They received information about the situation in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
The changes to the labour codes, reform of social protection and health systems and the experience with privatization were some of the issues addressed by the union leaders of the constituency.
The Georgian Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the government's ratification of the International Labour Organisation convention on tripartite consultation. The GTUC says that it had been pushing for this for many years and it should now provide the basis to develop social dialogue in the country. However, unions there continue to face major challenges not least the failure of the government to re-establish an effective labour inspection regime. Some 460 workers have died and 796 have been injured since the labour inspectorate was abolished in 2006.