South Korean truckers end eight-day strike – National General Strike in Tunisia


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South Korean truckers end eight-day strike

About 15,000 truckers in South Korea have agreed to get back on the road after reaching a late-night tentative deal with the country’s transportation ministry that guarantees a minimum wage.

The eight-day strike has caused huge delays in cargo shipments – from cars and semiconductor chip components to steel and petrochemicals – costing the export-dependent country an estimated $1.2 billion in production and delivery losses. The country is home to automakers Hyundai and Kia, electronics maker Samsung and steelmaker POSCO.

The Department for Transport has agreed to extend a freight rate scheme which was due to expire at the end of this year. The system will guarantee truckers a minimum wage in view of soaring oil prices. The ministry, which must pass these requests to parliament, will also consider providing fuel subsidies.

But the success of unionized truckers in this round is no indication of the outcome of future negotiations, labor relations experts told Reuters. The country recently elected pro-business Yoon Seok-youl as president, and the public is largely unsympathetic to unions due to their past activism.

Learn more about Voice of America

More strikes at airports in Europe

Airline workers continue to strike and call strikes over working conditions, while airports and airlines struggle to keep up with demand this summer.

Ryanair’s Spanish cabin crew voted to hold a six-day strike in June and July, Euronews reported, a week after air traffic controllers in Italy and workers at France’s main Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris quit their use.

In an informal poll, British Airways workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of the strike. No official strike action has yet been approved, but it could cause huge problems for the carriers as the airline’s union represents 16,000 workers. Already, the airline has canceled 8,000 round trips between March and October due to lack of manpower.

Find out more about Euronews

National strike in Tunisia

Tunisia came to a screeching halt on Thursday after the country’s biggest union rallied its members to go on strike, Al Jazeera reported.

The Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT), which represents three million public sector workers, said 96% of its members had joined the walkout.

Airports, public transport, ports and government offices have been closed as a result. All international flights to and from Tunisia have been canceled.

The demonstrators carried flags and chanted slogans such as “in our life, in our blood, we are with the union”. They were protesting President Kais Saied’s plans to freeze wages and cut subsidies in order to secure a $4 billion loan from the IMF.

Learn more about Al Jazeera

Japanese Amazon delivery drivers unionize

It seems Amazon’s union energy is flowing east.

According to Kyodo News, ten self-employed delivery drivers working for Amazon Japan have joined a union, saying they have been overworked by the company. The company last year adopted a new artificial intelligence system to determine each driver’s coverage area and the number of packages delivered, dramatically increasing driver hours. The effort was sparked after one of the drivers had an accident last year.

“The huge workload is stressful and we cannot handle it,” a union leader said at the press conference. “If we don’t fix this, drivers risk dying on the job.”

The union sent a letter to Amazon asking for improved working conditions, as well as compensation for wages that are deducted when packages are damaged during delivery.

Learn more about Kyodo News

Only 6% of domestic workers globally have an adequate safety net

Domestic workers represent one in 25 employees, or 2.3% of workers worldwide. These are people who provide care services to families, and the majority of them are women; a fifth are immigrants.

Out of an estimated 75.6 million domestic workers worldwide, only 6% enjoy full social security coverage including medical care, sickness, unemployment, old age, maternity and other benefits, a writes the International Labor Organization (ILO) in a report published this week.

Asia-Pacific and Arab states offer the least protection. Only 27.9% of Asia-Pacific countries and 3.8% of Arab States offer at least one social security benefit.

Domestic workers represent one in 25 employees, or 2.3% of workers worldwide. These are people who provide care services to families, and the majority of them are women; a fifth are immigrants.

Besides the lack of social security protections, domestic workers are also vulnerable to discrimination in general. For example, in Singapore and Malaysia, domestic workers are not allowed to marry a local resident. In Singapore, where such workers are considered “unskilled” or “semi-skilled”, they are also prohibited from becoming pregnant. And while Japan and Thailand have laws against pregnancy discrimination, less than half of respondents in a separate ILO survey support the idea of ​​letting pregnant migrant workers continue to work. .

Read the latest ILO report here

International news and strikes happening elsewhere

This was written with the help of Rachel Phua, our latest Bill Greider Labor Reports Fellow.

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