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6 October 2016

Collective Bargaining developments September 2016

Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the September issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter:

1. Europe – In a landmark ruling the Court of Justice of the EU stated that EU law, in particular Council Directive 1999/70/EC of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP, precludes national legislation which allows the renewal of fixed-term contracts to cover temporary staff needs, when those needs are, in fact, permanent.

2. Belgium – The management of Caterpillar has announced at a works council meeting that it will close its headquarters at Gosselies, Charleroi, and make all 2,200 workers redundant. The unions are preparing a joint response.

3. Germany – The Federal Labour Court ruled in a case related to an air strike that third parties, which are indirectly affected by strike action, are not entitled to damages. The court, basing its judgement on common principles of tort law, ruled against the compensation claims made by affected airlines.

4. Slovakia – The management of Bratislava-based carmaker Volkswagen and the trade unions are heading towards an agreement. The trade unions said the management has accepted some of the union’s points, including jointly preparing measures to support senior employees and other points concerning social welfare and improving relations between the management and workers.

5. UK – The Living Wage Commission assessed the ‘best available evidence on living standards’ and concluded that the £7.20 an hour national living wage for the over 25s, introduced in April 2016, was failing to provide the basic needs of low-paid households. 

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