Ireland promulgates act banning Zero Hour Contracts

Wages in Europe have stagnated finds study

25 March 2019: A new study by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) titled The crisis is not over yet has found that average wages in UK, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia and Cyprus were lower in 2018 than in 2009.

The report also shows that real wages have stood still – with no increase – in Belgium and Finland – over the same period.

The figures show that average wages, adjusted for inflation, went down between 2009 and 2019 by

  • 23% in Greece
  • 11% in Croatia
  • 7% in Cyprus
  • 4% in Portugal
  • 3% in Spain
  • 2% in Italy
  • 1% in Hungary
  • 1% in UK
  • No change in Belgium and Finland

Morocco: Teachers go on strike demanding regularisation and social security

24 March 2019: Over 15,000 contract teachers went on strike demanding regularisation of services and full benefits on par with their permanent counterparts. Contract teachers are entitled to the same wages as permanent teachers in Morocco but do not receive benefits like health insurance and pension.

South Africa: Workers strike against precarious work at six ArcelorMittal plants

20 March 2019: Over 3000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa have gone on strike at the six ArcelorMittal plants across the country against contract work and low wages.

Workers have been demanding implementation of the 2018 Supreme Court ruling which orders the companies to regularise the service of workers who have been in continuous employment for more than three months.

ArcelorMittal, the largest steel producer in South Africa thrives on the labour of contract workers. Contract workers are paid 50% less wages than their permanent counterparts and in most places forced to work on minimum wages and under a constant fear of job loss.

Nigeria: Government passes bill hiking minimum wages to N30,000

19 March 2019: The Nigerian senate has passed a bill hiking the minimum wages from existing N18,000 to N30,000 which has been a long standing demand of workers and unions.

However, the government has also proposed a revision in Value Added Tax from 5% to 50% in order to be able to pay the raised minimum wages. The 45% hike in VAT will lead to an increase in the prices of all essential commodities and dilute the hike impact on the real wages of workers who are forced to manage on meagre income.

Ireland: Act banning Zero Hour Contracts promulgated

06 March 2019: New Employment Protection Legislation promulgated by Irish parliament came into effect on 3 March 2019 which bans zero hour contracts in all forms of employment. According to the new act

  1. Zero–hour contracts are now banned, in almost all circumstances.
  2. Workers have the right to compensation from their employer if they turn up for a shift but are sent home without work.
  3. Workers are entitled to guaranteed hours of work that reflect their normal working week.

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