Zimbabwe: Health workers demand $10,000 per months as risk allowance
28 March 2020: In Zimbabwe, frontline health workers have declared that only those workers will report for work who are provided proper personal protective equipment and a risk allowance of $10,000 by the Ministry of Health and Child Care to the Health Services Bipartite Negotiating Platform.
France: Amazon workers exercise right to refusal against company’s pressure to report to work
19 March 2020: Over 200 Amazon workers exercised their right to refusal to work as enshrined in the French labour code if an employee considers there is a risk to health or safety against Amazon’s pressure on workers to report to work in the Douai province in northern France and struck work on 19 March 2020.
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire rapped Amazon for forcing contract and temporary workers to report to work and threatening them with job loss and pay cuts as the spread ofCOVID-19 reached severe levels in the province.
Italy: Trade Unions fight to keep the country safe, halt all non-essential production
15 March 2020: A joint trade union delegation of Cgil, Cisl and Uil representatives presented their demands to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte over video conferencing asking for orders to halt all non-essential production in across the country, complete lockdown of services and factories and paid leave for workers not engaged in essential work as COVID-19 cases mushroomed across the country resulting in thousands of deaths.
UK: Homeless charity workers strike against policy of sharing of personal data of migrant beneficiaries
16 March 2020: Over 200 workers of UK’s largest homeless charity St. Mungo’s went on strike across London, Bristol and Brighton against the charity’s data sharing policy which requires workers to share personal and sensitive information about homeless refugees availing services from St. Mungo’s to the state department.
St. Mungo’s has recently proposed changes wages and working conditions. Striking workers opposed this changes which will open the doors for contract worker and lead to zero-hour contracts with no social security and poverty wages.
Facebook, Amazon and ‘other’ tech companies force contract workers to report to work amid COVID-19 lockdown
13 March 2020: Tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Deliveroo and others, which boasted of automation, robotics and minimum reliance on human workforce, are forcing their temporary and zero-hour contract workers to report to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While Facebook has allowed its permanent workers to work from home it has issued a circular for contract workers asking them to report to work at their workplace.
Amazon worker have held strikes in several part of USA and Europe against lack of safety provisions, physical distancing and health coverage for contract workers. These delivery workers are the only line of support many have amid the lockdown imposed by governments.
Yunus led Grameen Communications fined for violation of labour laws
12 March 2020: Grameen Communications, a telecom company owned by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus was found guilty of violating statutory requirements such as not providing the employees with appointment letters, service books; not submitting annual and half-yearly returns, among some charges and fined. Besides Yunus, the chairman of Grameen Communications, its Managing Director Nazneen Sultana, Director Abdul Hai Khan and Deputy General Manager Sarkar Gouri Shankar were all fined Tk 7,500 each.
Kenya: Parliamentary Committee shoots down labour relations bill
9 March 2020: The Assembly Labour and Social Welfare Committee shot down the Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill, 2019 before it went up for discussion stating it curbed workers’ rights. The proposed bill sought to amend the existing act to restrict the freedom to strike for workers who provide essential services such as sanitation workers, meteorologists, marine and port navigational workers, and electricity and telecommunication services workers. The bill proposed that workers take a poll before strike action and the limited the number of strike days to a maximum of 5 days. It further included provisions of fines of up to Sh 5 million on workers and union officials who continue to take part in a strike upon expiry of the five-day period.