Mexico: Over 70,000 automotive workers go on strike
18 January 2019: Over 70,000 workers from 45 factories in the Matamoros region of Mexico have gone on strike demanding a 20% increase in wages, $1700 as bonus and return to the 40 hour work week. The Matamoros region is a well-known export hub and houses component manufacturers for big automobile companies like General Motors, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler.
France: Court rules, Uber drivers are workers not independent contractor
11 January 2019: Ruling in favour of workers, a French court has observed that Uber drivers are employees and not ‘independent contractors’. The drivers are therefore eligible for health care and overtime pay and all other benefits due to employees as per law. Uber has lost similar cases in the European Court of Justice and in the US and UK in recent years and has been dragged these cases through litigation instead of changing its employment policies.
Garment workers strike work over low wages and union busting in Asia
Cambodia: Over 500 garment workers in the Bai Hong factory in Svay Rieng Special Economic Zone (SEZ) went on strike after their union leaders were fired by the company to suppress the newly formed union at the factory. The workers at the factory had got together recently to put forth a charter of demands to management that included a hike in wages and shorter work days.
Bangladesh: More than 5,000 workers from around 20 garment factories went on strike demanding a raise in wages on 07 January 2019. The striking workers who produce garments for major brands like Zara, H&M and Gap blockaded the Dhaka-Meymensingh highway for 5 hours after which police dispersed them using force.
The strike was followed by mass firings across companies with thousands of workers losing jobs that triggering instantaneous protests in the capital city Dhaka. The Joint Forum of Trade Union Federations, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Employer’s Association and the Labour Department have been negotiating over reinstatement of workers and a hike in wages.
Myanmar: Around 100 workers went on strike in a Chinese-owned garment factory in Yangoon the termination of seven workers including union leaders demanding better wages for all. The striking workers demanded that the company respect ILO Convention 87 and recognize worker’s Right to Freedom of Association.
Spain: Airport workers strike work after management refuses to provide winter wear
01 January 2019: More than 300 workers went on strike on New Year’s Day in Madrid after the Airline companies’ refused to provide winter wear to all workers and bonus to security staff.