Philadelphia state promulgates Essential Workers Protection Act

Nigeria: Contract workers employed by Human Rights Commission strike work over violation of minimum wages

12 July 2020: Workers at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) across the country served strike notice over non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage and Human Rights Protection Allowances by the commission under the banner of Nigeria Civil Service Union. The Commission has been given 14-day notice to negotiate with union in good faith or workers would embark on indefinite strike shutting down NHRC offices across the country.

Philippines: Trade Unions join forces to oppose proposed Anti-terrorism law aimed at curbing labour rights

9 July 2020: Trade Unions have come together to oppose the proposed Anti-terror law which has an overarching definition of terror and could be used to stifle workers’ rights and dissent in general. The Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) and Pro-labor Legal Assistance Centre filed a Petition for Certiorari against Republic Act 11479 seeking issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the new anti-terrorism law.

Canada: Supreme Court allows Uber drivers to pursue labour dispute as workers

02 July 2020: Supreme Court of Canada in a 2017 case has upheld the decision of the lower court of Ontario which had ruled that the clause in Uber’s legal terms are ultra vires and that Uber drivers can pursue labour disputes as per the Employment Standards Act.

David Heller, a driver for the UberEats food delivery service, had brought a class-action lawsuit seeking a minimum wage, vacation pay, and other benefits. As per Uber’s contracts all drivers are registered as independent contractors and therefore not entitled to benefits provided under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.

Heller’s proposed lawsuit was blocked by a clause in Uber’s legal terms that requires all labour disputes to go through mediation in the Netherlands. The Ontario Court of Appeal deemed the clause illegal because it outsources an employment standard. Uber challenged this ruling before the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court upheld the lower court decision, ruling that drivers can have labour issues resolved through Ontario courts.

USA: Philadelphia state promulgates Essential Workers Protection Act

1 July 2020: Philadelphia state has promulgated the Essential Workers Protection Act to protect workers who speak out about unsafe workplace conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act applies to all establishments regardless of size and prohibits them from retaliating against employees who:

  • in good faith disclose information that may evidence unsafe working conditions that violate Pennsylvania’s or Philadelphia’s COVID-19 public health orders, if the purpose of the disclosure is to remedy the violation.
  • refuses to work in conditions that the employee “reasonably believes” violate Pennsylvania’s or Philadelphia’s COVID-19 public health orders.

Germany: Minimum wages to be raised by 12% over the next 2 years

1 July 2020: After prolonged negotiations the representatives of both employers and workers’ unions unanimously agreed to boost the minimum wage from the current €9.35 to €10.45 by July 2022. The minimum wage will be gradually increased over four stages, with the first increment is set to take place in January 2021. Income of minimum wage workers is set to grow by nearly 12% eventually amounting to €10.45 per hour by 2022.

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