745 items found

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  • Banking sector trade unions to form federation

    In late 2002, the process of creating a national federation of the three Portuguese bank workers' trade unions affiliated to the UGT confederation is nearly complete. The new federation will comprise regional banking unions from the north, centre and south of the country, and represents an attempt by the unions to strengthen their negotiating capacity in the light of the concentration of firms within the sector.
  • Wroclaw hospital employees protest over unpaid wages

    In November 2002, a number of employees of the debt-ridden Rydygier hospital in Wroclaw, Poland, launched a hunger strike aimed at obtaining the payment of wages, which had not been paid since September. The hunger strike was followed by high-profile street protests. Politicians at the regional and national level stepped in to try to calm the conflict, but the hunger strike has continued.
  • Protests continue at closed Ozarów cable plant

    In November 2002, a workers' blockade of a shut down cable manufacturing plant in Ozarów, Poland, was broken after more than six months by the factory's owner, Tele-Fonika. The company used a private security agency to clear access to the factory and allow machinery to be removed, and the police intervened when violence flared. However, it seems that the redundant workers' protests are continuing.
  • Dispute over wage cuts and privatisation at Dunaferr steel mill

    As a part of its proposal for the 2003 state budget, the coalition government of the Hungarian Socialist Party [1] (Magyar Szocialista Párt, MSZP) and the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats [2] (Szabad Demokraták Szövetsége, SZDSZ) has announced far-reaching privatisation plans, and for this purpose drafted an amendment to the law on privatisation. Since the vast majority of the firms in manufacturing, construction and commerce had already been privatised under the previous socialist-liberal government between 1994 and 1998, the new wave of company sales mainly affects firms in agriculture, finance and transportation. The only exception in manufacturing is Dunaferr, the only remaining Hungarian steel mill, which survived the transformation recession of the early 1990s, and is still one of the largest employers in Hungary. Although in the early 1990s this state enterprise was decentralised into several limited liability companies, and some smaller units were sold to foreign investors, the state is still the majority owner. [1] [2]
  • Government supports working time reduction

    The reduction of working time is increasingly becoming a central bargaining demand for Hungarian trade unions at national level. Regular weekly working time is a central issue in the current round of tripartite negotiations over increases in the national minimum wage (HU0207102F [1]) and recommendations for the annual wage increase for 2003. In exchange for making concessions to the employers’ side in the area of wage increases, unions have demanded the reduction of statutory normal weekly working time from 40 hours to 39.5 hours in 2003, and to 38 hours by 2006. [1]
  • MSZOSZ congress launches major structural reform

    The National Association of Hungarian Trade Unions [1] (Magyar Szakszervezetek Országos Szövetsége, MSZOSZ), one of the major Hungarian trade union confederations, held its fifth congress on 22 and 23 November 2002 in Budapest. The congress aimed to end a period of lack of strategic focus and decided to develop a new organisational structure which will enable it to tackle the challenges of forthcoming EU membership and the accompanying efforts to strengthen social dialogue across the Hungarian economy. [1]
  • Agreement reached following action in road haulage

    Difficult negotiations between trade unions and employers' associations in the French road haulage industry began in October 2002 over a new sectoral collective agreement on pay and conditions. The prospect of a blockade of the entire road network similar to that of 1996, if the talks failed, hung over the negotiations. Ultimately, an agreement was reached on 24 November, providing for a pay increase 14% over three years, though it was not signed by the CFDT and CGT unions, which called for roadblocks to be set up. These were lifted on 25 November, but CFDT and CGT plan to continue their action in other forms.
  • Return to calm at CFTC congress

    After clashes at its 1999 congress, the French Christian Workers' Confederation (CFTC) held its 48th national congress in November 2002 against a more peaceful backdrop. A new executive team headed by Jacques Voisin and Jacky Dintinger was elected, which is promoting the expansion of CFTC's presence, especially in small and medium-sized companies.
  • Mass redundancies in telecommunications

    Telecommunications companies, and especially those that are mainly engaged in mobile telephony, are in the midst of a serious crisis in Denmark. In early November 2002, a confidential report from the new top management of the Danish division of Orange, the French-owned mobile telephone company, was leaked to the press. The report recommended large-scale redundancies in connection with a major restructuring process. This leak immediately led to the dismissals of some of the employees who had received the report. Shortly afterwards, management publicly stated that 400 out of 1,000 employees would be made redundant as part of a major economic restructuring process. The employees were informed at a number of meetings, and Orange has taken the initiative to launch negotiations over the job losses with employee representatives, and has informed the Confederation of Danish Industries (Dansk Industri, DI).
  • Employment levels start to fall

    The November 2002 employment survey from Statistics Denmark (Danmarks Statistik), conducted on the basis of employers’ payments into the ATP (labour market supplementary pension) system, shows that 20,200 people lost full-time jobs from the second to the third quarter of 2002. This was 15,500 more people than expected by experts in the labour market field. The situation is worst in the industrial sector, in which employment fell by 6,700, and in the building sector, where 5,100 jobs were lost. In the municipal sector, employment fell by about 3,400. On the whole, public sector employment declined by 6,400, while the private sector suffered a loss of 13,500.