20 Jun 2018 Ferado

ILO to declare its new report on care work and care jobs

Switzerland: The International Labour Organization (ILO) is to launch its new report, Care work and care jobs for the future of work, on Thursday, 28 June at 20:00 GMT.

It provides an estimate of the necessary investment needed to avoid a looming global care crisis as well as new figures on the number of people in need of care, including children and older persons. It also looks at the number of jobs that could be created.

The report includes policy recommendations as well as a wide range of global and regional statistics and analysis, including unpaid care work and the gender imbalance in care work.

Embargoed electronic copies of the report and associated media material will be made available to journalists upon request, starting on the morning of Thursday, 28 June in the morning, by contacting newsroom@ilo.org.

For UNOG accredited correspondents: A press briefing by Manuela Tomei, Director of the ILO’s Work Quality Department and Shauna Olney, Chief of the ILO Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch (GED), will be held, under embargo, on Thursday, 28 June at 10:00 a.m. in press room 1 at the Palais des Nations. Embargoed documents will be sent to them automatically as soon as they become available.

14 Jun 2018 Ferado

Government to recognize trade unions

Botswana: Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi, says government is committed in reviewing the labour laws of the country.

When addressing the media following Botswana delegation’s appearance before the 107th Session of the International labour Conference in Switzerland, Molefhi said that they were prepared to do things right.
“Even before we briefed Cabinet with my team, President Mokgweetsi Masisi asked us to work on those which are necessary being, the bargaining council, trade dispute act and public service act. This demonstrates how government is committed to working with the trade unions.”

He said that as they explore on working together, they must ensure that there is consistency, transparency, honesty and also cultivate the spirit of mutual trust. “The spirit of mutual trust must underpin our engagement.”

Molefhi said that by holding on yester years ill fillings, it will hold them back and must shed that off. “We must shed off the old scheme as tripartite and believe that we have solutions that are from us not imposed on us,” he added.

Meanwhile Tobokani Rari who spoke on behalf of both union federations, BFTU and BOFEPUSU said that they were delighted that the group has decided to recognise them.

Among the amendments which Rari said government was willing to work on, include the amendments of the Prisons Act, to allow unionization in the Prison Service, registration and recognition of the Public Sector bargaining Council allow labour law review to be subjected to tripartite structures to ensure transparency and efficiency of the entire process.

14 Jun 2018 Ferado

Unions demand further reform for public workers

South Africa: The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) announced in a press conference Tuesday that it will continue to reject a public sector wage agreement with the country’s Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) for what they call a “savage attack on the living standards of public servants.”

The PSCBC, a central bargaining council within the labor market, announced Friday that 65.74 percent of trade unions agreed to salary adjustments and new conditions of service for three years, from 2018/19 to 2020/21, after hitting a deadlock last week.

Trade unions in opposition to the agreement say that a strike will not have the desired impact on labor negotiations and are thus committing to a “campaign on the ground until it is reversed” while outlining the conditions to workers.

“The agreement signed in 2018 is in many respects worse than the 2014-2017 agreement. This agreement overall seeks to make workers pay for an economic crisis they did not create. Those who created the crisis continue to smile to the banks,” the SAFTU press statement read.

SAFTU stated that the agreement does not properly address salary adjustment for inflation, further delays implementing housing allowance laws, lacks a review of medical insurance schemes, and needs to address outstanding demands.

The discussion over public sector wages comes after the National Assembly passed three amendment bills to labor laws on May 29. These bills set a general minimum wage of 20 rand per hour, or approximately US$1.58, but undermine the rights of workers to strike or picket.They also laid out earnings for extended public workers to be 11 rand per hour, 15 rand per hour for domestic workers, and 18 rand per hour for farm workers.

However, Citrus workers, gold miners, and some trade unions have since voiced and organized for higher wages and benefits.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union confirmed demands of the country’s top gold production companies Sunday, including an increase in monthly minimum wage and benefits such as severance pay, longer maternity leave, and a five-day work week instead of the current shift systems.

13 Jun 2018 Ferado

Postal Trade Union Alliance launches continuous strike action

COLOMBO :The Postal Trade Union Alliance says it began a continuous strike action at 4pm on Monday (June 11th) in protest against the recruitment process. Its Convener, Chinthaka Bandara said postal workers from across the country are taking part in the strike action.

He added the strike action will affect postal delivery and transportation among many other functions.

When contacted by News 1st, Postmaster-General Rohana Abeyratne said a Cabinet paper containing solutions for the workers’ issues has been submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. Abeyratne added that during talks held with trade unions on the 1st of this month, they were told a decision would be made regarding the Cabinet paper within two weeks. The Postmaster-General said the trade unions had begun their trade union action before the agreed deadline.

The Postmaster-Genera announced that all holidays of postal workers have been cancelled.

13 Jun 2018 Ferado

Fall in number of workers not linked to ‘free-visa-free-ticket

KATHMANDU, June 13: The falling number of Nepali workers going for foreign employment after the enforcement of the ‘free-visa-free-ticket’ system is due to not any slowdown in demand but supply side issues, according to a report issued by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).

The report released on Tuesday shows that there was an increase of 4.7 percent in the demand for workers in the seven countries where Nepali workers are not required to pay any visa fee or airfare under the system implemented from June 9, 2015.

The number of workers going for employment in the subsequent years has been falling, giving credence to manpower operators’ claims to some extent that the government’s new policy was responsible for such decline. According to them, there is lower demand for workers who should be offered visa cost and airfare.However, as per the report, in the two years after the free-visa-free-ticket system came into force, the demand of workers in these seven countries rose 4.7 percent from the 2.47 percent of the preceding two-year period, despite the fall in number of outbound workers.”There were superficial accusations that the fall in the number was due to the government policy. However, the report has found that it’s not due to the government policy because the demand for Nepali workers is rising. Instead, it’s due to the less number of workers who applied for or were interested to go abroad for work,” said Nara Bahadur Thapa, executive director of the Research Department at the NRB.The study report also found that 82.3 percent of workers it surveyed went for foreign employment under the policy of ‘free-visa-free-ticket’.

The central bank collected data from 313 outbound workers, 54 manpower companies and the Department of Foreign Employment and the Foreign Employment Promotion Board for the study.

There has been reduction in the average cost of Nepali workers going abroad for employment, the report found. The number of Nepali workers going to these seven countries — Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman — where ‘free-visa-free-ticket’ system is implemented accounts for 95 percent of the total workers leaving abroad for employment.

Recruiting firms claim the ‘free-visa-free-ticket’ system was responsible for the decelerating growth of remittances and falling number of workers going for foreign employment. The annual growth rate of remittance has been on a downward trend since the Fiscal Year 2013/14. The rate fell to 4.7 percent, or Rs 695.45 billion, in the Fiscal Year 2016/17 from 7.7 percent of the previous year, according to the NRB.

The slowdown in remittance growth is in line with the fall in the number of workers going abroad. While the number of workers was on an increasing trend until 2014, the number started to go down in the subsequent years. A total of 398,978 Nepali citizens received work permit from the Department of Foreign Employment in the last Fiscal Year 2016/17.

“The decline in the number of workers going abroad despite no slowdown in demand results from the supply side constraint,” reads the report. “The demand for workers in the domestic market is high due to reconstruction works after the 2015 earthquake. It could be presumed that the number of workers going abroad could have fallen in recent years as the wages have also gone up with the high demand.”