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5 May 2015

Collective Bargaining developments April 2015

Highlights of the April issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter with the following most important developments at European and member state level over the past month:

1. Europe - The European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected UK trade union Usdaw’s case for Woolworths and Ethel Austin members in stores of less than 20 employees to be included in the protective awards against both companies. The ECJ stated that, where an undertaking comprises several entities, it is the entity to which the workers made redundant are assigned to carry out their duties that constitutes the ‘establishment’.

2. Czech Republic - After the trade unions representing Volkswagen’s Czech Skoda Auto issued a strike warning a pay deal could be reached. The agreement includes a wage increase of 3.5% and covers about 24,600 employees.

3. Denmark - Rubbish collectors in Copenhagen backed up by the trade union 3F are on strike. They refuse to sign contracts with City Renovation, who won a tender for rubbish management in the capital, replacing the former contract holder. The workers are asking for more guarantees, as they fear to be laid off.

4. Germany - The Federal Labour Court confirmed that trade unions have the right to negotiate advantages exclusively for their members. The court had to examine a case of payment of employee benefits specifically negotiated by IG Metall for its members during talks over a social plan at Nokia Siemens Networks in 2012. Part of the plan was a compensation pay for all workers that had joined the union before March 2012.

5. Iceland - Several strikes are announced for the month of May. Worker demands in all cases concern wage increases, but the trade unions have also emphasised the need for new terms regarding job-related education. Opinion polls indicate that the general public not only supports union demands to raise the minimum wage – they would demand even more than unions are asking.

The monthly Collective Bargaining newsletter is compiled by a research team from the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) in cooperation with the ETUI.

The Newsletter presents up-to-date and easily accessible first-hand information on collective bargaining developments across Europe to practitioners, policy-makers and researchers. The alerts include links to the original stories.

Further reading:

•Full version of the Collective Bargaining newsletter: Issue 4/2015 – April.

Archives database of Collective Bargaining newsletter, searchable by country and date.

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