The courier company Hermes is to offer drivers guaranteed minimum wages and holiday pay in the first UK deal to provide trade union recognition for gig economy workers. Under the agreement with the GMB union, Hermes’ 15,000 drivers will continue to be self-employed but can opt into contracts with better rights. The deal comes after almost 200 Hermes couriers won the right to be recognised as “workers” at an employment tribunal last summer in a case backed by the GMB. Under employment law, “workers” are guaranteed rights including holiday pay, the legal minimum wage, minimum rest breaks and protection against unlawful discrimination. Similar cases have been brought against Uber, Addison Lee, CitySprint, Excel and eCourier. Ed Cross, a Hermes driver who has worker status after taking part in the tribunal case, said it would be better if all his fellow drivers had won the same status but he was happy they could now enjoy similar rights without having to go to … [Read more...] about Hermes to offer gig economy drivers better rights under union deal
Offer contract law
Ukraine's controversial opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, has formally joined the race to become the country's president, on the same day as the huge task facing the new leadership was underscored by a tough IMF aid package that will foist deep austerity on the country. Tymoshenko – the gas tycoon who led the Orange revolution, then ended up in jail under the previous regime only to be released into the euphoria of the Maidan protests – pledged to represent both halves of the fractured country. "I will be the candidate of Ukrainian unity," the 53-year-old said. "The west and centre of Ukraine has always voted for me, but I was born in the east, in Dnipropetrovsk." But it remains unclear how popular Tymoshenko is, and whether she can appeal to both the nationalists in the west and the pro-Russian elements in the east. The latest opinion polls on the presidential race show oligarch Petro Poroshenko, known as the "chocolate king", and former heavyweight boxer Vitali … [Read more...] about IMF offers Ukraine bailout as Yulia Tymoshenko enters presidential race
In Greek mythology, Hermes is the god of trade, commerce, merchants, roads and travellers, but also the god of trickery. The parcel delivery firm that shares its name with a French fashion house, an asset management company and the Olympian deity, might be associated with all those things, except – as of this week – possibly the last on that list. After hundreds of Hermes couriers in summer 2018 won the right to be recognised as “workers” at an employment tribunal, the company this week offered guaranteed minimum wages and holiday pay to its drivers – the first such offer in the industry. The agreement means that the 15,000 individuals ferrying parcels up and down the country every day can still enjoy all the flexibilities associated with being self-employed if they choose to, but they will also be able to opt into contracts that provide far more favourable rights. The GMB Union, with whom Hermes struck the deal, said the deal gives drivers “a real … [Read more...] about Hermes is now delivering on workers’ rights. Is the gig economy changing?
François Hollande is facing one of the biggest tests of his presidency as his sweeping labour reforms sparked protests by a potent mix of leftwing students and French trade unionists. Hundreds of thousands of protesters – including university students, high-school pupils and trade unionists - staged demonstrations across France in a wide-reaching movement that could prove highly toxic for the president. At least 90 lycées were barricaded across France. It is the first such collaborative protest against the Socialist government since Hollande came to power four years ago. This is particularly risky for Hollande – currently the least popular French president since polls began – because he has staked his whole term in office on improving life for the country’s struggling youth. If students and sixth-formers turn out in large numbers to protest against his overhaul of labour laws it could be devastating for both his attempted reforms and his political … [Read more...] about ‘End of term’ protests threaten François Hollande’s labour legacy
Lizbeth Amores dropped off her son at her mother’s house before heading to a house party with her friend Verenice Guevara. They were last seen at a bar popular with local gangsters. The following night, María de Jesús Marthen was among a dozen or so young women invited to a private party at a ranch about an hour east of the city centre. On her way to the event, Marthen messaged her boyfriend, pleading for help. The next night, Karla Saldaña and her friend Luisa Quintana went out for tacos. They were spotted leaving a bar in an unknown vehicle. None of them were ever seen again, but they were not the only women to vanish: over the space of three nights in November 2011, at least 50 women disappeared in similar circumstances from Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz state, which had been convulsed by cartel violence and political volatility. Most of the missing women were in their 20s and came from modest families. Some were single mothers, some full-time sex workers, … [Read more...] about ‘Impunity has consequences’: the women lost to Mexico’s drug war