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Find below the highlights of the latest issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter with the most important developments at European and member state level in February 2019:

1. European sources – Eurofound published a report that analyses the potential employment and economic impacts of the Paris climate agreement across sectors and occupations in the European union. The report highlights that the impact the climate agreement is positive for the EU as a whole, although with considerable variation between sectors.

2. Netherlands- After 8 months of negotiating and several big strike actions, trade unions and employers in the metal industry reached an agreement on a new collective agreement. With the new collective agreement that applies to 150.000 workers in the sector, wages will be increased by 3.5% on 1 February, by 58 euro on 1 August and 116 euro on 1 January 2020.

3. Portugal-  Public workers in hospitals, schools and rubbish collection went on a nationwide strike on 14-15 February 2019 demanding the government to raise wages in the public sector.  The government promised to increase the salaries of the lowest paid workers in 2019 but unions say the pay of around 600.000 public sector staff has been frozen for the last 10 years. 

4. Belgium- Unions have finally seen their demands, that led them into strike last summer, met by Ryanair management. Around 50% of Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium used to be employed by Crewlink, a subcontractor of the Irish low-cost airline. Ryanair has announced that the workers concerned will be offered to sign an employment contract with Ryanair itself.

5. Italy - Hundreds of thousands of people came to Rome on 9 February 2019 to participate in a rally organized by trade union federations CGIL, CISL and UIL. Under the banner “A future for work” they protested against austerity policies which, according to the trade union federations, have led to deep inequality, increased poverty, and growth of unemployment, in particular among youth and women.

Further reading:

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