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The challenges of the GWU and what have we done?

Since the Industrial Revolution, the world of work has been constantly evolving. Occupations and jobs have changed, and the economies of different countries have grown together into economic blocs. The world of work is increasingly characterized by a global struggle, with technological advances supporting this change. While employers see industrial globalization as an opportunity for investment and industrial growth, workers must seize every opportunity that globalization offers them to improve their skills and advance their careers. Only in this way can we become aware of our potential and skills as workers and prepare ourselves for the new world of work. The pandemic has accelerated the process of transforming the new world of work.

The GWU has always worked with employers and governments of all times in the best interests of workers to further improve the lives of members and workers. The GWU is currently in discussions with the current government along with key social partners on various new rights and laws to benefit workers including:

  • The right to opt-out of work-related issues (#therighttodisconnect).
  • Equal pay for work of equal value
  • The work-life balance directive
  • Living wage
  • Pay transparency
  • Gender pay gap
  • In addition, our biggest challenge today is the impact of the pandemic on employees and employers.
  • The right of all workers to be members of a union of their choice
  • Workers working on platforms (apps)

Although the GWU has always worked well with any government, this does not mean that the union does not have challenges in meeting the aspirations of workers. The GWU plays the role of an interlocutor between groups of member workers in different sectors of the economy, employers and government. The more changes there are in the world of work, the more intense the GWU’s work will be.

The secretaries of each section meet with members daily to hear their complaints and suggestions and to understand how best to move forward and why. It is not always easy to reach both sides. It is not always easy to convince members that a globalised economy is affecting their jobs, which could lead to job losses. The role of the union is to protect you and make sure you take what is right for you.

In addition, the GWU is constantly working at national and even European level to introduce new rights and reforms in the interests of the industry. Here the union is talking to both employers’ organizations and the government to introduce new laws to suit the new world of work. All this is done not only on behalf of the members but on behalf of all workers in an industry. In this process, the GWU produces a report to strengthen the voice of workers and shows in writing why various new worker-friendly laws should be implemented.

Collective Agreement

The Collective Agreement legally binds the negotiations between the Trade Union and the employer.

It defines:

  • The obligations
  • The benefits
  • The rights of the workers that are part of the agreement.

As a union, we make a Collective Agreement with all the companies we work with because the agreement between the two parties gives a clear idea of how things should go. It also helps to resolve any divergences in the shortest possible time. A collective agreement is a link between the union, the workplace and the employer.

The GWU secretaries are finding it difficult to conclude a Collective Agreement with different companies today, as the pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty.

New problems created by the pandemic:

  • Today, the divide between organised and unorganised workplaces in the Union is becoming more and more apparent. We have seen several cases where the employer is taking advantage of this situation to exploit employees
  • Many companies have quarantined a large number of workers so that work is left behind or divided among fewer employees
  • Some companies have reduced working hours, creating social and financial problems for families
  • Workers in the aviation and hospitality industries remain shut down
  • A number of companies we work with have different international management and culture and it is sometimes more difficult to understand the situation in our country.
  • It is sometimes a challenge to make several members understand that the current situation is difficult for employers as well
  • Certain situations are increasing because regular physical meetings had to be stopped
  • A large number of elderly people suffer from loneliness

As a Union, we need to strike a balance and ensure that the burden is shared by all. We also see that some workers are exhausted because of these situations caused by the pandemic. On the other hand, we see that workers who are members should also do their part and always do their job and respect their duties towards their job and their employer.

The pandemic is also something new for us and it is not easy, but as a Union, we always try to find a balance and be prepared for the future;

  • The rights of the workers are always respected
  • Help for the employers
  • We make sure that working conditions do not change
  • Wages are not drastically reduced
  • Keeping members and retirees happy who are going through the problem of loneliness
  • Allow members to tell us their problems and see how we can help them

Become a member if you want a union that will protect you especially in these difficult times.