Working Conditions

Business • Consumer & Service
H&M terminates cooperation with a supplier in China because of crimes against the Muslim Uyghur people
H&M Store
H&M Store Credit: Mister No

The Swedish clothing company H&M announced that it is ending its cooperation with the Chinese supplier Huafu. The textile supplier, based in the Chinese province of Anhui, is said to have benefited from the forced labour system in the province, which is mainly inhabited by Muslim Uyghur people.

According to H&M, the company had an "indirect business relationship" with the supplier, even though there hadn't been any indications of forced labour, H&M decided to terminate the cooperation regardless.

Business • Jobs & Careers
Salesforce to extend work from home policy until August 2021, give six extra weeks of time off for parents
Salesforce to extend work from home policy until August 2021, give six extra weeks of time off for parents

Salesforce announced it is extending the work from home policy to all 49,000 employees until at least July 31. Previously, the company guideline allowed work from home until the end of 2020.

The company also announced it is expanding benefits, offering employees an additional $250 to purchase office supplies to work from home and giving parents six additional weeks of paid time off.

Business • Jobs & Careers
German labor union IG Metall calls for 4-day work week
German labor union IG Metall calls for 4-day work week
Credit: unsplash.com / carlos aranda

The largest labor union in Germany, the IG Metall who represents workers from industrial jobs such as car manufacturing and is the largest industrial union in Europe, has called for a four day work week.

The transformation to electric mobility, further automation, and digitization could lead to future cuts in the workforce of the German automotive companies, fueled by the Covid-19 recession. According to the union chairman Jörg Hoffmann, a four day work week could be the answer to structural changes in the automotive industry in order to prevent future job cuts.

Major German companies such as Daimer and Bosch have already made agreements to reduce working hours in order to retain specialists but cut costs at the same time.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Rappi delivery workers strike in Bogota
Rappi workers protesting
Rappi workers protesting Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Rappi delivery workers in Bogota, went on strike Saturday to protest unfair working conditions. Around 1,000 protesters gathered in the north region of the Colombian capital.

A spokesperson for the "Rappitenderos" said, "There are also unjustified blocks, not in the wrong way."

Rappi said, in a statement, it would listen to the workers and highlighted its efforts to protect them during the pandemic.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Uber could pause ride-hailing in California if drivers become employees
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The San Francisco Superior Court granted California’s request for a preliminary injunction saying that Uber and rival Lyft must make drivers employees rather than independent contractors. Judge Ethan Schulman delayed that order for ten days, giving the companies time to appeal, as both have said they will.

Dana Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, stated: "If the court doesn’t reconsider, then in California, it’s hard to believe we’ll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly."

Uber and Lyft are pushing Proposition 22, a November ballot initiative that would keep drivers as freelancers entitled to some benefits and earnings guarantees.

Technology • Internet & Web
Former COO sues Pinterest, accusing it of gender bias
Françoise Brougher
Françoise Brougher Credit: Pinterest

Françoise Brougher, Pinterest’s former COO, has filed a lawsuit accusing the company of gender discrimination. Brougher is suing the company to hold it “accountable for discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and the Labor Code,” according to a Tuesday filing in San Francisco Superior Court.

Brougher, who was abruptly fired from the company in April, states in the lawsuit that she had a less favourable equity compensation package than her male peers. She also claims that she was also left out of crucial decision-making by other executives, was subjected to a hostile work environment, and ultimately fired by CEO Ben Silbermann when she spoke up against her treatment.

Business • Economy
Massachusetts sues Uber and Lyft alleging they misclassified workers as contractors
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Massachusetts on Tuesday followed California in suing Uber and Lyft over how drivers are classified as independent contractors instead of employees entitled to extensive benefits. The complaint filed in Suffolk Superior Court claims both companies violate state minimum wage, hour and sick time laws.

"Uber and Lyft have built their billion-dollar businesses while denying their drivers basic employee protections and benefits for years," said State Attorney General Maura Healey. "This business model is unfair and exploitative. We are seeking this determination from the court because these drivers have a right to be treated fairly."

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazilian delivery apps workers go on strike
Brazilian delivery apps workers go on strike
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Over a thousand food delivery apps workers on motorcycles gathered in São Paulo on Wednesday to protest their work conditions, set by Uber, Colombia’s Rappi and Brazil’s iFood.

The deliverymen seek higher pay and better health measures, with Brazil now a Covid-19 epicentre and delivery workers facing exposure to the virus with their work in high demand.

Regional News • Africa
Nigeria: 300 men locked in rice-processing factory rescued by police

300 men had been locked in a rice-processing factory in Kano since the end of March. The men were held against their will, were forced to work and threatened if they wanted to leave. After one of the man called a human rights organization, the men were freed by the police.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Supreme Court grants LGBTQ workers federal job protections
Portland, Maine residents carry the large rainbow flag down Congress Street
Portland, Maine residents carry the large rainbow flag down Congress Street Credit: Mercedes Mehling

In a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court further advanced the cause of LGBTQ rights Monday, ruling that a landmark civil rights law barring sex discrimination in the workplace applies to gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

The decision was written by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first nominee to the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberal justices. Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.

"An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex," Gorsuch wrote.

Business • Economy
California sues Uber, Lyft alleging they misclassified workers as contractors
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with city attorneys from Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, filed a lawsuit asserting Uber and Lyft misclassified their drivers as independent contractors under the state's new labor law.

According to the lawsuit, both companies gained an unfair and unlawful competitive advantage by claiming their workers were contractors.

Techcrunch reports the lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of San Francisco, seeks $2,500 in penalties for each violation, possibly per driver, under the California Unfair Competition Law, and another $2,500 for violations against senior citizens or people with disabilities.

Business • Economy
Amazon, Instacart workers strike amid working conditions under coronavirus pandemic

Amazon warehouse workers on New York’s Staten Island, and Instacart works across the United States, went on strike Monday to call attention to what they called a lack of protections for employees who continue to come to work amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Workers for both companies want more access to paid sick time off. At this time, it's available only to those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or get placed on mandatory self-quarantine.

Amazon workers want their warehouse to be closed for a longer cleaning, with guaranteed pay.

Instacart's grocery delivery workers ask for disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer and better pay.