Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the first issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter for 2017:
1. Europe – NGO Oxfam produced a briefing paper on inequality and wage disparities. Wages in low-skill sectors in particular have been falling behind productivity in emerging economies and stagnating in many rich countries, while wages at the top continue to grow.
2. Belgium – Trade union organisations and the employers adopted a framework agreement for 2017-2018, paving the way for a 1.1% annual wage rise on top of pay scale increases and automatic wage indexation.
3. Cyprus – Greek and Turkish Cypriots got together to remember a 1948 watershed moment in history where the two communities worked together in a long and sustained fight for workers’ rights.
4. Switzerland – Uber suffered another setback to its operational model in Europe after insurance agency Suva ruled that Uber drivers are employees, not freelance contractors as the company claims - meaning it must pay social security contributions.
5. Turkey – Trade union Birleşik Metal İş won a major victory in securing a better collective agreement for metalworkers with major electrical equipment employers association EMIS (Electromechanical Employers' Association).