18 December, 20132013 is coming to an end. During this year IndustriALL affiliates have taken major actions to defend their labour rights and the rights of the precarious workers working alongside them.
A lot of victories have been achieved during this year, some battles have been lost, but haven’t affected the willpower of IndustriALL affiliates to fight for their employment conditions and to confront global capital.
Through its multi-regional presence, the IndustriALL Precarious Work project has supported affiliates in their fight for the labour rights of precarious workers and to limit the use of precarious work.
In Thailand, the Paper and Printing Workers Federation of Thailand (PPFT) signed a new CBA with Kurusapha Company containing good language on precarious workers. The new CBA ensures that fixed term contract workers who have been in service for two years will be converted to regular employees of Kurusapha Company and agency workers will be converted into directly hired (one year fixed term) contract workers. As a result of this, 285 agency workers have been converted to fix term contract workers and hence have joined their local union, which will now ensure their conversion into regular employees in two years’ time.
At the end of this month, a delegation of Thai unions representing all sectors is going to Indonesia to meet with the FSPMI. The aim of this study visit is to learn how campaigns can be organised on a large scale. The Indonesian movement is recognized for its capabilities to mobilise millions of workers and is well know for its commitment to resolving the widespread problem of precarious employment.
Petrobras, one of the most important national companies in Brazil, is employing precarious workers on the basis of four outsourced workers for every permanent worker. At the end of a contract these agencies frequently do not fulfil their payment obligations.
After many years of battle the Federacao Unica dos Petroleiros (FUP) has negotiated a CBA with Petrobras up to August 31, 2015. The CBA contains several clauses to ensure better protection for outsourced workers.
Petrobras commits to informing the FUP and the oil unions of any changes that could result from the hiring processes of service providers. The Petrobras outsourcing Commission, together with the FUP and the oil unions, will meet every two months to deal with questions related to outsourced workers’ employment conditions and the service provider companies. Permanent workers will control every contract of these outsourcing companies and these companies must now deposit 5 % of the contract’s global value within 60 days in a bank to guarantee severance package payments.
In Brazil and Argentina, textile affiliates are trying to ensure good living and working conditions for migrant workers by working with their respective labour Minister. These migrant precarious workers, mainly coming illegally from Bolivia, see their passports confiscated by the employer and are treated as slaves.
In Africa there has also been several achievements, one of the most important is the willingness of affiliates from the three founding GUFs of IndustriALL to take joint action. In several countries, affiliates have worked together to jointly plan national campaigns against precarious work. They are now building national databases of information on companies, MNCs, service providers and the different types of workforce present in their respective countries.
As a result of all these exchanges of experiences and good practices, the importance of solidarity between unions, as well as between permanent and precarious workers, for winning the fight against precarious work is clear for all.