Armenia: Mine workers’ strike yields safer working conditions, wage hike
29 April 2021: Over 1,200 mine workers at the Kapan mining and processing plant had struck work on 8-9 April 2021 demanding better health and safety provisions at the mines and a long pending wage hike. Workers’ power has led to lead to a wage increase of up to 15 percent, from monthly wage of AMD380.000-410.000 (US$735-795) and medical insurance for all workers.
Lesotho: Government uses brutal police force to crush garment workers’ protest
27 April 2021: Govenrment in nexus with the association of garment manufacturers unleashed brutal police force upon garment workers demanding revision of wages in the capital city of Maseru. Garment workers have been demanding at 20 percent hike in their wages since 2019. Citing COVID-19 triggered lockdown in 2020 employers association had been successful in putting the demand on hold.
Kyrgyzstan: Workers rally against newly promulgated laws aimed at diluting trade unionrights
8 April 2021: Workers rallied under the banner of joint trade union platform to register their protest against the newly promulgated labour law which aims to crush the independence of trade unions and stifles workers’ right to freedom of association. After President’s assent all unions in the country would fall under the total control of the Federation of Trade Unions of Kyrgyzstan. All sectoral unions’ chairs will be appointed and dismissed by the FTUK chair, and union charters would be subject to FTUK’s approval. Further workers would be deprived of the possibility to create another union confederation.
Japan: Government raises age of retirement from 65 to 70 years
6 April 2021: Government has amended the Labour Standards Act allowing companies to retain workers till the age of 70. The amendments are aimed at:
- Raising the retirement age.
- Abolishing the retirement age.
- Allowing employees to work beyond the age limit.
- Outsourcing work to retirees as freelancers.
The new law requires both companies and employees or their union to reach a consensus on the chosen option. However, given that the government is also planning to reduce benefits for workers aged 60 to 64 workers will be forced to remain in jobs longer.
Ireland: Government rolls out right to disconnect from work after working hours
1 April 2021: The Ministry for Enterprise and Employment has inked the new code of practice allowing workers right to disconnect from their jobs outside of normal working hours, including not having to respond immediately to emails, telephone calls or other messages. The new code of practice includes:
- The right of an employee to not have to routinely perform work outside their normal working hours.
- The right not to be penalised for refusing to attend to work matters outside of normal working hours.
- The duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect (for example, by not routinely emailing or calling outside normal working hours).