Weekly News Update – 22November’21


Policy News

UAE: Government reforms labour law enhancing flexibility for private employers to hire and fire workers

Malaysia: Government to expand social insurance subsidy for self-employed, gig workers

Uganda: Extending government control over pension regulatory body (URBRA) President directs it to stop taking money from body funded by workers savings (NSSF)


Legal News

India: Construction workers approach Supreme Court against anti-worker ban on construction activity by govts in NCR, seek ex-gratia relief scheme

>> Supreme Court orders payment of pension to deceased employee’s widow, holds pension as a hard earned benefit of employees

>> Punjab & Haryana High Court rules employer not bound to retain contractual staff till term-end if displeased with their work or conduct

USA: Amazon to pay $500,000 fine for failing to notify workers of Covid cases

>> Worker sues Tesla for rampant sexual harassment at California factory, inaction by HR, Elon Musk setting bad example


Workers’ Rights

Amazon workers in more than 20 countries to strike work, stage walk-outs, hold protests on Black Friday to protest exploitation, inhumane working conditions, and attack on workers’ rights

India: Mazdoor-Kisan panchayat calls for united fight to revoke anti-farmer, anti-worker laws
>> Vocational teachers, lab workers in West Bengal protest govt move to “discontinue additional manpower” leading to 1,000 job cuts

>> Domestic workers in Karnataka protest against lack of social security, deliberate non-implementation of UWSS Act and state scheme for unorganised workers

>> Dalit women workers are organising and agitating to end gender and caste based discrimination, harassment, abuse and violence in Tamil Nadu’s textile industry

>> MOIL workers’ union signs 10 year tripartite wage agreement pending since 2017

>> Workers of state-owned iron ore miner NDMC protest in Delhi against demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant, govt stake sale

Germany: Thousands of auto workers protest against planned factory closures, relocations which will lead to thousands of job cuts

France: Rail and airport workers go on nationwide strike against pay freeze, bonus cuts

Nigeria: Petroleum and natural gas workers to go on strike over several labour disputes with state oil company NNPC, and MNCs Chevron and Eni

South Africa: Workers on indefinite strike across Walmart-owned Massmart stores against low wages, unilateral restructuring and changes to terms and conditions of employment

Pakistan: Marble factory workers in Khyber-Pakhtunwa Province protest demanding wage hike, safety gear and medical allowance

Hong Kong: Foodpanda delivery workers go on weekend strike against company cutting fees and expanding delivery zones, demand right to reject orders

USA: Union Workers Strike at MFA Boston, Protesting Stagnant Wages and Delayed Negotiations

>> Deere union workers approve new contact in third vote, end month-long strike


Job Cuts

Nearly one-third of all job losses in 2020 in Brunei, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam took place in tourism-related sector according to ILO

USA: Automaker Stellantis to lay off about 400 workers at Illinois plant

>> Citrix to lay off about 50 workers in Raleigh as a part of ‘restructuring program’

>> End-of-year restructuring leads to hundreds of job cuts across Pharma companies

Germany: Fresenius Medical Care to cut 750 jobs in Germany as part of 5,000 job cuts globally


Studies and Opinions

Rich countries who have endlessly exploited the world for their development are the prime culprits of climate change

India: Behind Transport workers’ strike demanding govt employee status lies dozens of workers’ suicides, mountains of debt due to meagre wages & chronically delayed payments by MSRTC
>> Rigorous enforcement of laws and court orders banning manual scavenging is the need of the hour rather than including a “workers’ safety” component in national Surveys and ranking states as part of the neo-liberal competitive framework

>> Global semi-conductor shortage will lead to job cuts in the Indian forging industry in addition to those in the automobile industry

USA: For the top four monopolies in the meat industry, meatpacking workers are no better than the animals slaughtered for their meat – sacrificed for satisfying increasing demand to earn enormous profits

Kenya: Modern Day Slavery Under the Guise of Domestic Work: The Plight of Kenyan Workers in the Middle East

Brazil: Workers in sugarcane plantations still experiencing slave-like conditions, decades after government rescue operations started, as demand for ethanol biofuels increases in USA and Europe

Qatar: 50 migrant workers died over 500 were injured during World Cup 2022 preparations, ILO reports

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