Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the first issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter for 2016:
1. Germany – The Hans Boeckler Foundation (HBS) concludes that million workers profited by the introduction of the statutory minimum wage of €8.5 per hour; especially in the low-wages branches the workers’ income has increased substantially. The introduction had no negative consequences on the labour market; on the contrary, it has been instrumental in kick starting employment.
2. Ireland – Twenty unions in Cork City and county have joined forces in a first-of-its-kind initiative to better organise workers and the wider community. The initiative, called One Cork, involves a much deeper level of union collaboration— at workplace and societal levels — to organise, campaign, educate, train, and communicate with workers, their families and the wider community.
3. Netherlands – A study by the government’s advisory group SER and the Council for Culture reveals that cutbacks in the cultural sector have had a serious impact on the employment and the earnings. Some 20,000 permanent jobs disappeared and the sector is now dominated by low-paid freelancers.
4. Portugal – The main dockworkers’ trade union and the operator of the Port of Lisbon have reached an agreement to end a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. The agreement paves the way for a new collective agreement for dock workers at the port.
5. Switzerland – The country will have a referendum in June 2016 about a basic income paid by the state at such a level that ‘a decent life and participation in society’ can be guaranteed. So far, no amount is fixed, but activists refer to a monthly income of 2500 Swiss Francs (2300 Euro).
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.