UK: Thousands of university workers strike
20 February 2020: University workers have formed picket lines on campuses in Manchester, Glasgow, Sheffield, Essex, Newcastle and Cardiff among others across the UK on the first day of staggered strikes over higher education pay, pensions and working conditions. The University and College Union (UCU) reported that their strike has the support from staff and students. Up to 50,000 lecturers, technicians, librarians and other academic and support staff at 74 universities will take part in a total of 14 days of strike action, staggered through February and March, which will potentially affect about 1.2 million students.
US: California court says Apple Store workers must be paid for wait time
14 February 2020: In a class action suit filed against Apple by its retail workers, the California Supreme Court directed the company to pay its retail store employees for the time they spend waiting for bag searches at the end of a shift.
Apple’s policy requires retail store workers to submit to searches of their personal bags after clocking out but before leaving the store. The policy requires the manager conducting the search to “ask the employee to remove any type of item that Apple may sell” and verify serial numbers of an employee’s “personal technology.” The employees said that on busy days, they might end up waiting close to 45 minutes for a manager or security officer to be available to conduct the search, per the company rule. Apple has 52 retail stores in California.
France: New Law to stop throwing away unsold goods
1 February 2020: France has passed a legislation to ban designer clothes and luxury goods companies from destroying unsold or returned items under a wide-ranging anti-waste law. The law also covers electrical items, hygiene products and cosmetics, which must now be reused, redistributed or recycled. It also phases out the use of paper till receipts and single-use plastics and encourages pharmacies to sell certain medications in individual doses.
The anti-waste and circular economy bill requires producers, importers and distributors, including online firms such as Amazon, to donate unsold non-food goods except those that pose a health or safety risk.