Zimbabwe: Constitutional Court outlaws rule which prohibited demonstrations without clearance
18 October 2018: In a case filed by the National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) and National Election Reform Agenda (Nera) in May, 2018 Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has outlawed section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa), which prohibits demonstrations without clearance from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), saying the piece of legislation is open to abuse by State machinery.
Justice Rita Makarau, while handing down the order said the rule failed to pass the test on fairness, necessity and reasonableness and is prone to abuse by a despotic regulating authority.
South Africa: 10,000 workers of the plastic industry strike for better pay
15 October 2018: Led by the The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) more than 10,000 workers employed in 450 plastic manufacturing companies have gone on strike against the scaling down of pay and benefit to workers. Leave entitlement of four weeks has been scaled down – the fourth week has been taken away for workers who’ve served less than four years. Hours of work have been increased from from 40 to 45 per week and Grade H minimum wage has been reduced from R40 to R20 while leave enhancement pay (bonus) has been taken away.
NUMSA is demanding, among other things, wages and other employment terms to be regulated by the council’s Main Agreement, the MEIBC and a 15 percent wage increase across the board.
US: Amazon’s software found to be discriminating against women
10 October 2018: E-retail giant Amazon which employs over 575,500 workers globally has reported that the machine-engine or software it uses to chaff the increasing number of resumes it receives is biased against women applicants.
Amazon has been using this software for hiring process since 2014. The software program which was coded by an all male team and used the applications company received over the years mostly from male candidates as database used to eliminate resumes with the mention of the word “women” in it. The fallacy of the language used to train the software and growth of artificial intelligence in alpsided fashion has ensured that women are kept out of the tech jobs.
Morocco: Government passes Domestic Workers Law
02 October 2018: The Domestic Workers law which got its assent from the parliament in July, 2018 is finally going to be implemented from 02 October 2018. The law provides protection to domestic workers including a requirement for a standard contract, limits on working hours, a weekly rest day, and a minimum wage. Human Rights defenders however are disappointed over the dilution of the bill as it was presented to the government and the final act which is going to come into force.
South Korea: Supreme Court finds Bosch Electrical Drives guilty of anti-union practices
1 October 2018: The Supreme Court of South Korea has found Bosch Electrical Drives guilty of anti-union practices and sentenced the CEO Lee Man-haeng and the company with a fine of $4,500 and the labour affairs director and vice president of $2,700 each.
The Apex Court upheld the decision of the lower which had found the CEO and labour affairs director guilty of improper labor practices for abusing a multiple union system to discriminate against and neutralize its existing union by actively supporting a second union. And diverting funds from the Korean Metal Worker’s Union, the union of workers choosing, to the company backed union.
Costa Rica: Trade Unions strike against government’s proposal to tax essential food articles
1 October 2018: Costa Rica’s new government introduced value-added tax to replace the existing sales tax claiming it would help the government tackle the economic situation. The proposed Law on Strengthening Public Finance includes 1% duty on staple food items and limit on salary increases, bonus payments and severance packages in the public sector.
Trade Unions have come together to oppose the law and proposed an alternative bill called the Justice and Solidarity Tax Reform which includes combating tax evasion and fraud, as well as eliminating “luxury” pensions for former presidents and reducing state financial support for political parties. However, the government has ignored the proposal of Trade Unions forcing them to go on strike from 10 September 2018.