Myanmar: 12 million participate in countrywide general strike against military rule amidst violent repression by the junta
22 February 2021: Workers from across the country – including railway staff, doctors, teachers, bank employees and factory workers – went on a general strike against military rule. They demand the restoration of democracy and of their elected civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.
South Africa: Workers hold countrywide general strike demanding raise in minimum wages and nationalisation of strategic monopoly industries
24 February 2021: Workers across South Africa went on a nation-wide general strike demanding the nationalization of all strategic monopoly industries and a living minimum wage of at least R12,500 (USD $854). Workers stayed home and did not report to work, and demonstrations were held in major cities as part of the strike action. The general strike was called on the day the Finance Minister was to deliver his budget speech, and the workers marching towards the Parliament faced a brutal crackdown by the Police.
UK: Supreme Court rules that Uber drivers are workers entitled to breaks, paid leave and guaranteed minimum wage
19 February 2021: Uber drivers won a landmark workers’ rights case against Uber as the Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers were workers, not self-employed. Therefore, they are entitled to workers’ rights like breaks, paid leaves and minimum wages. This ended a four-year legal battle in which all four courts passed judgements against Uber’s mistreatment of its drivers. The drivers will now approach the Employment Appeal Tribunal over their compensation claims.
Germany: Federal Labour court establishes presumption of gender-based discrimination in cases of unequal pay for work of equal value
18 February 2021: The Federal Labour court ruled that if a female employee sues for equal pay for the same work or work of equal value, the fact that her pay is lower than the pay of a comparable male employee will regularly establish a rebuttable presumption that the pay disadvantage is gender related.
USA: New York sues Amazon for lack of health and safety measures to ensure worker safety during COVID-19 lockdown
16 February 2021: New York’s Attorney General (AG) sued Amazon for inadequate safety protection during the pandemic and retaliating against workers who raised concerns over the conditions. The case focuses on two Amazon facilities: a large warehouse on Staten Island and a delivery depot in Queens arguing that Amazon failed to properly clean its buildings, conducted inadequate contact tracing for known Covid-19 cases, and “took swift retaliatory action” to silence complaints from workers.
Spain: Supreme Court reverses previous case law, puts an end to all employment of temporary workers in core activities
01 February 2021: In a recent ruling, the Spanish Supreme Court has reversed previous case law and put an end to the widespread use of subcontractors deploying temporary workers in core activities for an indefinite duration. Previously subcontracted companies were allowed to hire employees on temporary contracts even when the activity was permanent in nature.