Tag: trade union

German interior minister rejects union’s six percent wage demand
Unemployment

German interior minister rejects union’s six percent wage demand

Thomson Reuters BERLIN (Reuters) – German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Saturday he would press for “reasonable results” in the next round of pay talks with more than two million public sector workers, but he rejected the Verdi union’s demand for a six percent increase.
Wage talks are due to resume on Sunday after 150,000 public sector employees staged warning strikes and walkouts last week that left thousands of passengers stranded at airports, and hit hospitals, childcare centres and waste depots.
Seehofer, the federal government’s top negotiator in the talks, underscored the importance of public sector workers and said it was “self-evident” that they should benefit from the country’s economic growth.
Verdi said 17,000 people participated in walkouts on Friday, bringing the total for the week’s labour actions to 150,000.
He said public sector workers should benefit from surging German tax revenues.
The federal government and municipalities have rejected the union’s demands, but the head of the VKA association of local employer organisations last week said he expected an agreement to emerge from the next round of talks.
Inflation edged up to 1.5 percent in March.
Falling unemployment, inflation-busting pay rises and low borrowing costs are fuelling a consumer-led upswing.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is keeping a close eye on the German pay talks for any sign that wage growth is picking up, potentially lifting inflation and giving the ECB added leeway to start winding down its massive stimulus programme.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Helen Popper)

Opinion: Hundreds of retired Major League players denied pensions because of union error
Social Security Disability

Opinion: Hundreds of retired Major League players denied pensions because of union error

Biscuits pitcher J.D.
Martin talks about learning to be that rare pitching sight, a knuckleballer.
Stacy Long Six hundred forty four people who played Major League Baseball are being denied pensions by both the league and the union representing the current players, the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, because of a error the union committed 38 years ago.
In order to avert a threatened 1980 Memorial Day Weekend walkout by the players, MLB made the following sweetheart offer to union representatives: going forward, all a post-1980 player would need to be eligible to buy into the league’s premium health insurance plan was one game day of service; all a post-1980 player would need for a benefit allowance was 43 game days of service.
According to the IRS, a current MLB retiree can receive a pension of up to $220,000.
The pre-1980 players alive at the time were each awarded payments of $625 per quarter, up to 16 quarters, for every 43 game days of service the man had.
Even though Forbes recently reported that the current players’ pension and welfare fund is valued at $2.7 billion, MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark — the first former player ever to serve as leader of the union — has never commented about these non-vested retirees, many of whom are filing for bankruptcy at advanced ages, having banks foreclose on their homes and are so sickly and poor that they cannot afford adequate health care coverage.
Patty Hilton lost her spouse only six months ago, on Sept. 17.
His widow perhaps put it best: the MLBPA “is a soul-crushing organization.” Unions are supposed to help hard working women and men in this country get a fair shake in life.
But the so-called MLBPA labor leader doesn’t seem to want to help anyone but himself — Clark receives a MLB pension and an annual salary of more than $2.1 million, including benefits, for being the head of the union.

Op-Ed: A just transition from climate change and unemployment – a trade union perspective
Unemployment

Op-Ed: A just transition from climate change and unemployment – a trade union perspective

The global economy is facing numerous structural challenges.
The fact that 10% of South Africa’s population earn around 60% of all income, points to South Africa’s widening inequality.
The importance of the climate jobs work the Alternative Information & Development Centre (AIDC) has been leading is that it identifies where the jobs can be created.
However, AMCU is a trade union representing mine workers and construction workers.
It is only on this basis that you can reasonably expect any worker to be won to the fight against global warming and of doing something to halt the climate crisis.
This was a cynical manoeuvre to use the fear of job losses to keep alive plans for the expansion of coal and nuclear energy, as opportunities for further looting.
The renewable energy industry was blamed for the resulting job losses in coal fired energy.
We believe South Africa has great potential to build a significant renewable energy industry, as indicated in AIDC’s Million Climate Jobs research.
If government were to build houses instead of outsourcing them to profiteers (so-called developers) we could strengthen the resilience of working people in dealing with the deepening climate crisis.
DM This is an edited version of the speech delivered at the formal launch of the research report: One Million Climate Jobs – Moving South Africa forward on a low-carbon, wage-led and sustainable path, in Cape Town on 1November 2017 Joseph Mathunjwa is the President of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

New York unions push back on proposed comp rules
Welfare

New York unions push back on proposed comp rules

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is receiving pushback from labor unions on proposed workers compensation regulations that they say would reduce benefits for injured workers in New York.
Andrew Cuomo in April.
The finding of permanency is to be made by the Board, based on the evidence of the permanent medical impairment’s measured impact on the earning power of the disabled claimant,” according to guidelines provided by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.
Experts say that the New York business community has pushed for workers comp reform to drive down the state’s comp costs.
“Earlier this year, the Governor and the Legislature directed the Workers’ Compensation Board to update its schedule loss of use impairment guidelines to reflect advances in modern medicine that enhance healing and result in better outcomes,” Mario Cilento, New York-based president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said in an emailed statement.
This proposal runs counter to the intent of the legislation.” Lev Ginsburg, Albany, New York-based director of government affairs for the Business Council of New York State, said several cost drivers were isolated.
“We isolated a number of the major cost drivers and one of them was scheduled loss of use awards and with scheduled loss of use of awards,” Mr. Ginsberg said.
There is no question that there are injuries to these extremities that could be catastrophic for an injured worker and there is no question … that those severely injured workers should continue to receive robust benefits.
“These guidelines were meant to modernize the medicine … with an eye on bringing the assumptions about recovery into reality.
As far as the unions saying that the regulations will reduce benefits for injured workers, we are not reducing benefits for injured workers that are severely injured.

French labor overhaul met with muted criticism
Unemployment

French labor overhaul met with muted criticism

French labor overhaul met with muted criticism.
The changes, which the government plans to pass by decree later this month, revise a thicket of rules and worker protections that businesses say discourage hiring and complicate negotiating work conditions with employees.
Their unveiling marks a moment of truth for Mr. Macron, who has swiftly lost public support since sweeping into office four months ago.
Union leaders who met with the government Thursday were critical of the overhaul but stopped short of all-out opposition.
In a victory for the government, however, he said the CFDT wouldn’t join a street protest planned by the far-left CGT union on Sept. 12.
Mr. Macron has made changing labor rules a condition for reaching a “new deal” with Germany and other European Union countries to revamp the bloc’s economic architecture and equip it with shared financial backstops to resist economic shocks.
French unemployment stands at 9.5% — more than twice the rate in Germany.
A more competitive French economy, Mr. Macron says, would help convince Germany and other wealthy eurozone economies to boost spending and better shelter the currency union from a repeat of the debt crisis that has hammered southern European countries in the last seven years.
Of the main unions, only the far-left CGT is calling for strikes and demonstrations.
Business leaders called on the government to allow companies with up to 300 employees to bargain directly with nonunionized workers, awakening union fears of being sidelined.

In Win for Macron, Labor Opposition to Overhaul Is Mild — So Far — 3rd Update
Unemployment

In Win for Macron, Labor Opposition to Overhaul Is Mild — So Far — 3rd Update

The changes, which the government plans to pass by decree later this month, revise a thicket of rules and worker protections that businesses say discourage hiring and complicate negotiating work conditions with employees.
Their unveiling marks a moment of truth for Mr. Macron, who has swiftly lost public support since sweeping into office four months ago.
He has been consulting with France’s unions for months in a bid to contain street protests that undermined previous efforts to lower France’s chronically high unemployment.
Union leaders who met with the government Thursday were critical of the overhaul but stopped short of all-out opposition.
In a victory for the government, however, he said the CFDT wouldn’t join a street protest planned by the far-left CGT union on Sept. 12.
Mr. Macron has made changing labor rules a condition for reaching a “new deal” with Germany and other European Union countries to revamp the bloc’s economic architecture and equip it with shared financial backstops to resist economic shocks.
French unemployment stands at 9.5% — more than twice the rate in Germany.
A more competitive French economy, Mr. Macron says, would help convince Germany and other wealthy eurozone economies to boost spending and better shelter the currency union from a repeat of the debt crisis that has hammered southern European countries in the last seven years.
Of the main unions, only the far-left CGT is calling for strikes and demonstrations.
Business leaders called on the government to allow companies with up to 300 employees to bargain directly with nonunionized workers, awakening union fears of being sidelined.

Labor reform to make or break Macron presidency, say bosses
Unemployment

Labor reform to make or break Macron presidency, say bosses

Labor reform to make or break Macron presidency, say bosses.
Thomson Reuters By Leigh Thomas PARIS (Reuters) – France’s employers federation urged President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday to “go all out” in a reform of the labor market to be presented this week in the face of a precipitous fall in his popularity and increasingly restless unions.
The reform is Macron’s first major policy move since a landslide election victory in May against far right leader Marine Le Pen and it is expected to set the tone for other initiatives. “We’ve absolutely got to go all out to simplify the labor code,” Gattaz said, adding that “everything will be in the decrees details”.
France’s unemployment rate has fallen to a five-year low of 9.5 percent in recent months, but Macron hopes to take it much lower by easing labor regulations that firms say deter them from hiring.
Unions are particularly anxious about details on plans to cap severance pay that labor courts can order companies to pay in unfair dismissal cases.
The government consulted with unions as it drafted its proposals over the summer and so far only the hardline CGT has responded by calling a strike for Sept. 12. “They want us to believe that this is a new project and that it’s the only way to reduce unemployment but that’s a state lie,” Martinez told Communist newspaper L’Humanite.
The coming weeks will reveal whether other big unions are ready to join the CGT in protest and build meaningful opposition to Macron’s reform agenda. “We expect him to succeed and lay the basis for a major French economic and political renaissance,” economist Holger Schmieding, of German investment bank Berenberg, wrote in a note to clients.