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Equal Times: Turkey's flagship online food ordering company is failing to deliver on workers' rights   |   Truthout: Corporate Media Largely Ignore Labor Issues. Let's Make Them Visible.   |   Maine Beacon: Joining nationwide rally, nurses union calls for safe staffing levels at Maine hospitals   |   Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Kicks Off Labor 2022 Campaign    |   Labor Press: Starbucks Workers Are Transforming the Workplace Through Unionization - And Consumers Can Help   |   Jim Hightower: How Corporate Greed is Causing Tornado Deaths   |   The Nation: Why Alabama Coal Miners Are Still on Strike   |   On Labor: The Intersectionality of Climate Change and Labor

News and Articles Relating to the Insurrection Against the United States of America on January 06, 2021

USA: Pennsylvania: Opinion: Screwed over by the Philadelphia Parking Authority? Lawyers say the penalty system is unconstitutional

RadioLabour DailyRadio Labour:  International Labour Movement's Radio Service, Bringing Labour's Voices to the World

AFL-CIO Now Blog

LabourStart Solidarity Campaigns

USA: AFL-CIO Petition...
Write Your United States Senators - Pass the PRO Act

People Over Profit...
Public Services International

Justice for Fishers - Fishers' Rights Network...
International Transport Workers Federation

Pharmacare: A Plan for Everyone...
Canadian Labour Congress

Union Member Candidate Program...
American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations

Campaign to Organize Digital Employees...
Communications Workers of America

U.S. Mail Not for Sale...
American Postal Workers Union and National Association of Letter Carriers

Fight for $15...Low Pay is Not OK

One Fair Wage...
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Committee for Better Banks...
coalition of labor, community and consumer advocacy organizations

Making Change at Walmart...
United Food and Commercial Workers

Justice for Port Drivers...
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Union Yes

ITUC Global Rights Index

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) 2021 Global Rights Index rates the world's worst countries for workers -- 149 countries on a scale from 1 to 5+ relevant to respect of workers' rights.

ILO Labor Standards

The International Labor Organization (ILO) labor standards take the form of International Labor Conventions which are ratified by member countries. Of the total number of ILO Conventions, eight are considered core labor standards, fundamental to the rights of workers. The ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Relevant NEWS and ARTICLES

Amnesty International

American Civil Liberties Union

U.S. bookstore workers organize with UFCW

21 January 2022:   As the sales of printed books continue to rise in the United States during the pandemic, so too is the number of booksellers getting organized. In the past year, UNI Global Union's U.S. affiliate, the UFCW, organized bookstore workers at stores across the country in what was a traditionally non-union sector.

Workers at Politics and Prose bookshops throughout Washington, DC, made history as they joined UFCW Local 400, and P&P became the first-ever bookstore in the Capitol to unionize. Workers' representatives are negotiating a collective agreement with the company to secure higher wages, a standardized pay scale and pay transparency.

Elsewhere, workers at Half Price Books locations in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, joined UFCW Locals 663 and 1189 in December 2021 and January this year after they won union recognition following National Labor Relations Board elections. Workers organized with UFCW to be able to bargain for liveable wages, better working conditions and a voice in their workplace.

"I am so excited to unionize because I know it will help us to be compensated appropriately for the work we do, to have a voice in policies affecting our ability to do our day-to-day jobs, and to protect the benefits we have earned!" said Hanna Anderson, who works at Half Price Books at St. Paul.

Additionally, workers at Greenlight Bookstores and Yours Truly stationery stores in Brooklyn, NY, joined the RWDSU/UFCW last summer. The new union members handle sales, stocking, and information services in the stores.

Christy Hoffman, UNI General Secretary, said: "The UFCW is breaking new ground and organizing bookstore workers in the United States. These wins are another example of frontline employees, working during a pandemic, demanding for their labour to be revalued. As printed book sales boom in countries around the world, bookstores represent a great opportunity for growing membership in the commerce sector and improving the wages and working conditions of the skilled and dedicated workers in the field."

Source:  UNI Global Union--UNI represents more than 20 million workers from over 150 countries

PSI signs Renewed GFA with the French Energy Multinational Engie

JAN 20, 2022:   On January 20th, 2021, the Global Union Federations, Public Services International (PSI), IndustriALL Global Union and Building and Woodworkers International (BWI), signed a renewed Global Framework Agreement (GFA) on Fundamental Rights and Engie's Social Responsibility.

The agreement was also signed by the four trade union organizations that represent Engie workers in France, the CGT (Confédération Générale du Travail), FO (Force Ouvrière), CFE-CGC (La Confédération française de l'encadrement - Confédération générale des cadres), and the CFDT (Confédération française démocratique du travail). The renewed GFA applies to all Engie operations worldwide, covering more than 170,000 workers in more than 70 countries.

Engie is a French multinational energy company with operations in energy transition, electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy and petroleum. The company posted revenue of 55.8 billion euros in 2020.

Engie has made clear commitments to respect human, labour and trade union rights as defined in United Nations (UN), OECD and International Labour Organization (ILO) agreements and conventions in all of its operations including in all subsidiaries where the company maintains operational responsibility, regardless of whether or not it is a majority stakeholder. Further, the commitment to human, labour and trade union rights will be incorporated into the requirements of Engie’s procurement policy and compliance with these rights is a criterion both for selecting new suppliers and retaining existing ones.

In addition to these labour and trade union rights, Engie has also agreed to extend an equal level of social protection by the end of 2024 at the latest, with regard to:

  • parenthood - 14 weeks maternity leave and four weeks paternity leave, fully paid
  • death or disability - payment of a minimum of 12 months' wages
  • hospitalizations

Engie has also committed to prioritize permanent, open-ended and direct jobs and the agreement defines gender equality goals (50% women managers) and specific anti-discrimination language. Finally, an agreement to continue discussions on structural union participation in both due diligence risk mapping and monitoring and Engie's whistleblower alerts system was also included in the GFA.

The global pandemic presented unique and unprecedented challenges for global negotiations. The conclusion of these negotiations represents an important consolidation of international social dialogue between Engie and the trade unionists who were able to adapt to the need to negotiate using digital platforms with simultaneous translation.

"I want to congratulate all the negotiators for having reached an agreement under such challenging conditions. This renewed Global Framework Agreement on Fundamental Rights clearly reflects a consensus on the importance of gender equality, digitalization and just transition. PSI and its affiliates are committed to the deployment and monitoring of this agreement," says PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli.

The international social dialogue mechanisms at Engie are backed up by a "world forum", held at least once a year and bringing together workers' representatives from all the geographic regions in which Engie operates, as representatives from the global union federations and management.

GFAs offer an opportunity for PSI affiliates to collectively take full advantage of provisions to build power, to defend members' rights and conditions, while promoting quality public services. Affiliates with membership in Engie operations, subsidiaries and subcontractors worldwide are invited to maintain close contact from all regions to ensure that the content of this agreement is fully implemented and respected.

Source:  Public Services International--PSI uniting more than 30 million workers in 154 countries

Cambodia: Free LRSU leaders now and drop all charges

17/01/2022:   The IUF is calling for the immediate release and the unconditional dropping of all charges against 8 union leaders involved in a strike at NagaWorld Casino hotel in Cambodia. An URGENT ACTION together with LabourStart has been launched today.

  • On December 18, IUF affiliate LRSU launched a strike to protest NagaWorld management's refusal to negotiate concerning the forced mass redundancy of over 1,300 workers that left many destitute. The union made every effort to negotiate a solution, but management refused to talk and even failed to attend a mediation session convened by the Ministry of Labour.
  • On December 31, police raided LRSU's office and arrested 9 people. Further arrests took place on January 3 and 4, including on January 4, LRSU President, Sithar Chhim, was violently arrested on the picket line by plainclothes police
  • The IUF asked the ILO to intervene as a matter of urgency with the Government of Cambodia to seek guarantees on the safety of those arrested and to request their immediate release from custody and the dropping of the criminal charges
  • Eight people are currently being detained, charged under the Criminal Code with "incitement", a charge which carries a sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment
  • In a letter to Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, Guy Ryder, Director General (DG) of the International Labour Organization, expressed his deep concern over the arrests of workers and union activists involved in the peaceful strike. The letter stresses that arrests and imprisonment in connection with peaceful strike action constitute a serious interference with civil liberties in general and trade union rights in particular and recalls that the preventive detention of trade union leaders for activities connected with the exercise of their rights is contrary to the principles of freedom of association. The DG's letter concludes with an appeal to the Prime Minister to use his powers to ensure the immediate release from custody of all detained workers and the dropping of all criminal charges related to their trade union activity.

Source:   International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations--IUF uniting 10 million workers in 423 affiliated organizations in 127 countries

Canada Goose workers vote to join a union

13 January, 2022:   86 per cent of the workers making luxury jackets Canada Goose in Canada, have voted to join IndustriALL affiliate, Workers United Canada Council. This is the largest private sector victory for manufacturing workers in Canada in 30 years and is a culmination of a three-year effort by the workers, most of whom are immigrant women sewers.

According to reports, there had been issues with terminations and discipline, and some workers felt the piece-rate system was unfair. The union win on 1 December last year will result in 1,200 garment workers at Canada Goose's two factories having representation and a voice in their workplace.

"This is a wonderful moment for our workers. We work so hard to make this company a success. Now we feel we have a real voice in the company to share in that success," said Alelie Sanvictores, a sewer who has worked for the company for five years and is a leader of the union effort.

The organizing campaign was led by a diverse and large committee of Canada Goose workers who spent hours after work talking to their co-workers about forming their own local union. Students, community leaders, and immigrant rights group also joined the campaign to urge Canada Goose to respect workers' right to organize.

"I want to congratulate the workers of Canada Goose for this amazing victory. I also want to salute the company. No employer wants a union but Canada Goose management stayed neutral and allowed the workers the right to exercise their democratic vote," said Richard Minter, international organizing director for Workers United.

Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary, says "Organizing in the garment supply chain is a priority for IndustriALL and this great union win is a testament to our affiliates' continuous efforts to fight for workers' rights."

Workers United, an SEIU affiliate, represents 10,000 workers across Canada. In the United States and Canada, Workers United represents more than 86,000 workers in the apparel, laundry, food service, hospitality, non-profits, warehouse distribution and manufacturing industries.

Edgar Romney, secretary treasurer of Workers United said, "I want to congratulate the workers of Canada Goose for this amazing victory. It shows that when workers stand together to fight, we win!"

Source:  IndustriALL Global Union--IndustriALL represents 50 million workers in 140 countries

Eswatini: International trade union cooperation and solidarity to support educators

11 January 2022:   International trade union cooperation was at the heart of recent activities by the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT). It has successfully engaged with the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) and the Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ). This cooperation will allow the Swaziland/Eswatini education union to strengthen its structure and demonstrate the full support of educators at global level. It comes at a time when the union is being confronted with threats to human and trade union rights.

Engagement with South African colleagues

In 2021, 9 December marked a new era for SNAT and SADTU. "This historic day saw the adoption of a development cooperation programme between the two unions," said SNAT General Secretary Sikilela Dlamini. This cooperation arose from a commitment by SADTU to strengthen its international work, particularly in terms of socio-political issues in neighbouring countries, including Eswatini. This commitment was copper-fastened in a national resolution passed by the SADTU Congress.

The SADTU branch in the neighbouring province of KwaZul-Natal (KZN) was tasked with strengthening unions in Eswatini. It entered into bilateral cooperation with SNAT, through a programme set in motion in August 2021, after a brainstorming session between the SNAT National Executive Committee and SADTU.

Objectives of partnership

The main objectives of the partnership are to:

  • Build the capacity of members of both organisations, so that they can be better protected against all forms of injustices in the workplace.
  • Strengthen the organisations' operational and leadership systems, so that they become 'organisations of choice' for all educators in their respective countries.
  • Bring about and-or improve the international focus of both organisations.
  • Raise awareness among their members on working class philosophy.
  • Deepen their members' understanding of political issues in their immediate environment, help them to reclaim their role addressing political questions, and enable them to make concrete contributions regarding such issues.

Guidelines for cooperation

The 9 December SADTU-SNAT bilateral engagement also outlined resolutions which will serve as guidelines for the cooperation:

  • Structuring and implementing a clear leadership and membership development programme, with deliberate provision for capacity building.
  • Showing the unions' commitment to significant international partnerships.
  • Protecting the dignity of the two organisations through various mediums and presenting a proper image on various public platforms, whilst advancing professionalism that is borne out of class consciousness.
  • Mobilising resources to ensure broad understanding of the political, economic, and organisational context, sustaining the pursuits of the unions and reaching out to all members.
  • Adopting a political programme that deepens the ideology of the SNAT as a teachers' organisation, even as it is confronted by political challenges.
  • Conducting a deliberate situational analysis to inform worker demands at collective bargaining tables, ensuring free and fair processes through active participation that has also defined modalities for redress.

Time to counter union bashing

SNAT General Secretary Dlamini commented that "such a partnership could not have come at a better time than this, since there is a dire need for SNAT to establish and strengthen international solidarity. The behaviour of the Eswatini Government is clearly anti-union, and it is such initiatives that make it possible for unions such as ours to counter trade union bashing by the employer".

He added that "this partnership will enable the SNAT leadership to adequately guide the membership into a political education programme that will support educators in better understanding the current political climate in the country, so that they can better participate in national political debates and processes as they join in the national call for the attainment of a multiparty constitutional democracy in this country".

SADTU: Struggle against oppressive and abusive employers

SADTU KZN Secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said: "This partnership, based on solid foundations of international solidarity, provides SNAT and SADTU with a platform to share their experiences and good practices on how to best and successfully lead the struggle against oppressive and abusive employers. The struggles of workers and the mandate of trade unions is the same, and the current complicated political situation in Eswatini resembles the situation SADTU was in pre-1994 [and Nelson Mandela's presidential inauguration]. The democratic breakthrough and the support the SADTU received from international bodies strengthened us."

The two unions have agreed that "recognising the significance of international solidarity will help us define the nature of the class revolution that we have to pursue through popular collaboration as workers", Caluza concluded.

Solidarity from Finnish educators

SNAT is also strongly supported by the Finnish education union, OAJ, that has condemned the violation of fundamental workers' rights in Eswatini. In 2020, OAJ and the Finnish trade union solidarity centre, SASK, began their cooperation project with SNAT. "We launched the project with a strong belief that the partnership will contribute to building a better future for teachers in Swaziland," noted OAJ's Organisation Manager, Jenni Arnkil.

SNAT members "have faced a very dfficult situation" in the union and in Eswatini in general, given the way the COVID-19 "pandemic has changed our everyday life, teaching, and the status of the teachers in many ways around the globe", she added. "We have had to face the restrictions at many levels and areas of life in the name of the pandemic - and, in some cases, the restrictions seem to have come to stay.' Addressing SNAT members, Arnkil insisted that "the crisis you have faced concerning the struggle for democracy, trade union and human rights is something that we have been following with growing concern and we wish to express our solidarity to you, teachers of Swaziland".

ILO and UN principles of democracy and human rights

She highlighted that Education International and its Executive Board were shocked to learn that force had been used against peaceful protesters, who had been seeking better - or at least decent - working conditions for teachers and other public sector workers. OAJ has also strongly condemned this violence.

As Eswatini is a member of International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations (UN), it has committed itself to the ILO's and UN's principles of democracy and human rights, she emphasised. The acknowledges four categories of rights, i.e., freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, Arnkil explained.

She also mentioned the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "something that the UN member states should be true to every day". Article 23 of this Declaration includes significant principles concerning work:

  • Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work, and to protection against unemployment.
  • Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  • Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring, for himself and his family, an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  • Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

OAJ: You are not alone

"In this regard, we are concerned about the situation in Eswatini, and we hope that you have the strength and courage to continue peaceful protests and demands for these principles to come true," she added. "We condemn all the use of force against peaceful protests and teachers, and we hope that a brighter future is just around the corner for Eswatini's teachers and children. We encourage you, the teachers of Eswatini, to continue to stand strong and peacefully protest to enhance democracy and human rights and for a better future for the children and workers of Eswatini. Thank you for that. You are not alone," she concluded.

Source:  Education International--EI uniting 32.5 million members in 391 organizations in 170 countries and territories

U.S. Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board sign partnership agreement to enhance information sharing, enforcement, training, and outreach

January 06, 2022:   WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced today that the department's Wage and Hour Division and the NLRB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding strengthening the agencies' partnership and outlining procedures on information-sharing, joint investigations and enforcement activity, as well as training, education and community outreach.

The agreement is an effort by the agencies to improve the enforcement process of the laws they administer and reaffirms their commitment to ensure the rights and protections of workers. The partnership will help ensure that employers pay workers their rightful wages and that workers can take collective action to improve their working conditions without fear of retaliation.

"Workers across this nation put food on our tables, and keep our families well and our neighborhoods safe. In return, they deserve equity, fair pay and our respect," said Acting Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman. "The Wage and Hour Division works tirelessly to ensure workers receive their hard earned wages and job-protected leave without fear of harassment and retaliation. Collaborating with the National Labor Relations Board will expand both of our agencies' impact and effectiveness in enforcing workplace protections and combatting misclassification, and preventing retaliation against them."

The Wage and Hour Division and NLRB's collaboration will strengthen their interagency relationship by creating mechanisms to share information efficiently and establish a process for referral, joint investigation and cross training of personnel. The agreement will also allow for better enforcement against unlawful pay practices, misclassification of workers as independent contractors, and retaliation against workers who exercise their legal rights.

"All too often, workers face adverse action for speaking out about their compensation, whether it is discussing their wages, fighting back against wage theft, or advocating for higher wages. The National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to interfere with, or retaliate against, workers for taking these actions," said National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. "These issues frequently cut across multiple worker protection agencies, which is why it is so important to work collaboratively to prevent and address them."

In addition to enhanced enforcement, the agencies will use the partnership to increase the public's understanding of the laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division and the NLRB through increased community outreach, shared compliance materials, joint presentations and training events. The cooperative agreement will support the joint goals of the WHD and NLRB to protect workers who exercise their workplace rights and educate employers about their legal responsibilities under federal laws.

Source:  United States National Labor Relations Board

Historic victories for Just Eat and Deliveroo workers in Europe

5 January 2022:   Food delivery workers at Just Eat in Spain and Deliveroo in the Netherlands will now be covered by collective agreements providing a host of benefits and rights, thanks to major wins by UNI Global Union affiliates in both countries.

The collective agreement between Just Eat Spain - the country's biggest delivery platform with 2.5 million users - and Spanish unions CCOO and UGT, is the first of its kind and comes under Spain's new Riders' Law which classifies food delivery couriers as employees. The agreement guarantees 30 days annual leave, a maximum working day of nine hours and health & safety protections for delivery workers at the company.

Under the agreement, which took effect from the start of January 2022, delivery workers will also have the right to disconnect and privacy from digital surveillance.

Elsewhere in Europe, a judge in the Netherlands ruled in favour of a case brought by UNI's Dutch affiliate, FNV, against multinational food delivery company, Deliveroo. It means that Deliveroo riders are now covered under FNV's collective agreement for the transport of goods, enabling riders to benefit from a fixed hourly wage, holiday and sick pay and payment during waiting time, as well as other benefits. The ruling applies retroactively to all delivery workers who currently or previously worked at Deliveroo, and riders are invited to report to FNV to jointly claim an employment contract under the new collective agreement.

The verdict comes after another appeal case ruled that the deliverers are employees and not freelancers, as Deliveroo claimed.

Willem Dijkhuizen, manager FNV Transport & Logistics, said: "This ruling is again good news for the meal delivery workers. Because they now fall under this collective labour agreement, their employment conditions are regulated properly and they have certainty about their income."

Source:  UNI Global Union--UNI represents more than 20 million workers from over 150 countries

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