Lesotho: Successful strike yields lockdown wages to garment workers
17 June 2020: Over 50,000 garment workers returned to work on 17 June 2020 after a successful one-day strike which forced to the government to respect its commitment regarding payment of wages for the period work was stopped at all factories due to Coronavirus lockdown. Workers represented by the United Textile Employees (UNITE), National Clothing, Textile and Allied Workers’ Union (NACTWU) and the Independent Democratic Union of Lesotho (IDUL) had negotiated a $47 pay over 3 months in April 2020 when the country underwent a lockdown.
Pakistan: 1600 construction workers win back employment after 12 day-long protest
04 June 2020: Workers from the Suki Kinari hydro construction project on 2 June 2020 signed an agreement with the China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) and local government officials for reinstatement of 1,600 construction workers who were illegally dismissed in beginning of May for forming a union of their choice. The company had argued that the workers were ‘let go’ because work was disrupted due to the pandemic. However, a complaint to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association and workers 12-day blockade of a highway leading to their worksite ensured an end to the illegal firing of 1,600 workers for exercising their right to Freedom of Association.
USA: IBM abandons facial recognition products, Condemns Racially Biased Surveillance
09 June 2020: In the backdrop of widespread protests after murder of George Floyd by policemen in Minneapolis IBM has written to Congress stating that the company will not sell facial recognition technology to the police department as it may be used to violate “basic human right and freedoms.” However, the company has refused to share the information regarding which police departments did it earlier sell the technology to and what was the extent of its usage. Black Lives Matter protests have brought to fore the inherent racist nature of Artificial Intelligence and its lopsided use by the police department.
Peru: Retail store suspends 22 workers for exercising Right to Refuse Unsafe work in the face of pandemic
3 June 2020: Retail chain store Falabella has terminated the services of 22 workers who refused to join work voicing health and safety concerns over company’s enactment of safety protocol in the face of COVID-19. The company has since changed its safety rules for workers and customers but refusing to reinstate the 22 workers.
Spain: Government launches minimum income guarantee scheme
1 June 2020: The Spanish government has launched a minimum income guarantee scheme for families rendered vulnerable after the massive outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. The scheme will cover around 850,000 vulnerable families – accounting for about 2.3 million people. The income rates, will vary from €461 to €1,015 which will be calculated according to the previous year’s income and based on individual households’ circumstances. The scheme will be applied to vulnerable households with dependent children initially which would cost the government an estimated €3 bn per year.
USA: Facebook employee hold virtual walkout over company’s decision to act against Donald Trump
1 June 2020: Facebook workers staged a virtual walkout over company’s decision to not act against a remark by Donald Trump, the President of USA which called for police violence against people protesting murder of George Floyd by the Police in the state of Minneapolis. The remark was initially made on social media website Twitter where it was veiled for users but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to take any action. The decision received flak not just from the workers but senior employees who publicly voiced their opinion against allowing hate speech on the website.