By Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary

International Workers’ Day is time to celebrate our achievements and look to the future. Earlier this week, UNI Europa held its conference, themed “Forward Through Collective Bargaining.” There could have been no better topic for this moment.

Some of you from outside of Europe may ask: “Why should European unions focus on bargaining? Doesn’t their bargaining coverage represent the gold standard?”

Well, yes. But like almost everywhere else in the world, workers’ gains are at risk.

Although European countries differ, they generally have the highest levels of collective bargaining coverage in the…


Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union

Photo: Friedemann Vogel. Strikers protest outsite an Amazon warehouse in the German town of Werne.

Dear Mr. Bezos,

I write on behalf of UNI Global Union and its affiliated unions from 150 countries, employed in many service industries including ecommerce and logistics. Some of our members represent your workers in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Poland. In each case, Amazon has resisted any direct negotiation with the unions and only done so when ordered or legally required. Many others are in active discussions with your employees, but have not been able to achieve formal recognition, such as in the US, UK and other countries. …


By Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union

The old adage “Mourn for the Dead but Fight like Hell for the Living” rings even more true on this International Workers Memorial Day, taking place during an unprecedented threat to the health of working people.

As each day passes, we lose more workers who have been struck down by COVID-19 because they continue to do their jobs — despite the fear, despite the danger- to provide essential services for us all.

We do not know how many we have lost. But we know that there will be thousands, and we…


By Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union

Devastating wildfires in Australia, deadly floods in Bangladesh and Indonesia, mass protests in Chile and Lebanon. Stock markets roar as income inequality soars.

Decades of political neglect have left our planet in a state of upheaval, and it’s becoming clearer that “business as usual” will lead to catastrophe.

In country after country, wage stagnation is the new normal for the many while CEO pay skyrockets. Massive protest movements, often sparked by small embers such as a bus fare increase or a WhatsApp levy, are on the rise. …


Why women and youth are leading the way in the Palestinian Territories

Palestine is an incredibly young society — 37% of the population are under 17 and 24% are aged between 19 and 24. A whopping two-thirds of the population are under 29.

Yet when Dr Samer Salameh, the Deputy Minister of Labour for the Palestinian authority opened the workshop, he noted his surprise at the amount of young participants.

“When I accepted the invitation to a trade union workshop, I was sure that I would see a much older crowd,” joked Dr Salameh. “However, I’m absolutely delighted to see so many young faces and so many women trade union leaders today.”

The workshop was opened by the Deputy Minister of Labour for the Palestinian Authority Dr Samer Salamah


Donald Trump and his allies have crammed a decade’s worth of lies and “alternative facts” into the past year, but all that obfuscation and misdirection cannot hide this simple fact: the Trump White House has launched an all out attack on America’s working people.

This attack comes as Trump continues to make populist promise after promise to act on behalf of America’s “forgotten” families. In September 2016, he said, “Every policy decision we make must pass a simple test: Does it create more jobs and better wages for Americans?” …


By Phillip Jennings, General Secretary of UNI Global Union

There’s a time for leadership, for inspiration, for big ideas, and Donald Trump clearly does not think that time is now.

Over the past week, Trump has delivered two significant speeches, first at the World Economic Forum and then the State of the Union, that relied on hollow slogans and discredited conservative orthodoxies, rather than a forward-looking vision.

US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“America is open for business,” Trump declared in Davos. He rhapsodised about his administration’s regulatory rollback, which has, among other things, robbed fair overtime pay from millions of hard-working employees, made workplaces more…


She was a young organiser faced with a challenge — to help workers at global fashion giant H&M form a union.

In 2016, the Swedish multi-national chain was opening its first store in New Zealand, and Sarah Thompson was hired by First Union to lead the organizing effort there.

From her previous work with Auckland Action Against Poverty, Sarah had worked with unions, but this was her first fully-fledged organizing push.

“I hoped that because I was roughly their age, a woman, and shared their love of fashion, the workers would be able to identify with me,” explains Sarah.

However…


Amazon workers in Italy and Spain dish the details on Amazon’s poor labour practices and why trade unions are the key to decent work at the E-Commerce giant.

Francisco has worked at Amazon for 5 years. According to him, this makes him one of the company’s longest-serving workers.

“Nobody retires at Amazon,” he laughs. “Probably not even Bezos will retire there.”

“Most people are out after 5 years or so. The pressure is pretty intense at Amazon and eventually, it takes a physical and mental toll.”

Francisco Jose Hervias Jimenez works at an Amazon fulfilment centre in Madrid.

Francisco is speaking at the UNI Amazon Alliance in Barcelona. Over 30 trade unionists…

UNI Global Union

UNI Global Union, based in Nyon, Switzerland, represents more than 20 million workers in the fastest growing sectors in the world — skills and services.

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