Sri Lanka: Workers hold countrywide general strike demand President’s resignation
28 April 2022: Workers across Sri Lanka went on strike demanding President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades. Economic slump has led to massive shortages in food, fuel, and energy, with the country experiencing 10- to 12-hour long power cuts every day. The strike was endorsed by over 1,000 trade unions and included both public and private sector workers. Workers in big numbers joined protesters who have been camping outside President’s residence. Earlier this month, 40 cabinet members had resigned en masse, leaving Rajapaksa with a minority government. Last week, the police had opened fire on protesters, killing one person and injuring two dozen others.
Finland: After 112-day long strike UPM and the Paperworkers’ Union sign first-ever business-specific collective bargaining agreement
25 April 2022: Paperworkers’ Union signed a long-term settlement with UPM Paper Mills effective till 2026 covering five UPM companies – UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac, and UPM Biofuels after long drawn negotiations including strike action by workers lasting 112 days. The agreement includes substitution of periodical pay with hourly pay, flexible shift arrangements to ensure work-life balance and a 2 year wage hike guarantee.
Canada: Ontario state promulgates Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022
11 April 2022: The Working for Workers Act, 2022, received Royal Assent in Ontario on 11 April 2022 which amends the existing Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006 and promulgates a new act the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022 which covers gig workers such as ride share, delivery, courier or other workers who are offered work assignments by an operator through the use of a digital platform. The Act mandates that the operator must provide information in writing form regarding how pay is calculated, if and how tips or other gratuities are collected by the operator, the recurring pay period, factors to determine work assignments, and whether a performance rating system is used and if there are consequences based on a worker’s performance rating. The new Act also mandates that workers be paid minimum wages in accordance with the ESA. The written information must be provided to the worker within 24 hours upon joining the platform.
Greece: Workers protest outside parliament for inflation-adjusted wage hike
6 April 2022: Over 10,000 workers went on strike and held a protest in front of the Parliament in the capital city of Athens on 6 April 2022 demanding inflation-adjusted raise in wages. Greece’s annual consumer inflation surged to a 25-year high of 7.2% in February on the back of rising energy, housing and transportation costs. Government had raised the minimum wage by 2% to 663 euros in January 2022 however, GSEE, country’s umbrella private sector union had demanded a 13% increase in the monthly gross minimum wage in March 2022 considering the soaring energy prices due to sanctions on Russia.