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Collective bargaining can reduce wage inequality, says ILO report

Collective bargaining – the process of voluntary negotiation between one or more employers (or their organisations) and one or more workers’ organisations – can effectively reduce wage inequality, whether in an enterprise, sector or industry, says the International Labour Organization. By Hannah Abdulla A new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO) argues collective bargaining can be an effective tool for advancing and fostering inclusion. The higher the coverage of employees by collective agreements, the lower the wage differences are, according to Social Dialogue Report 2022: Collective bargaining for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery, which is based on a review of collective agreements and practices in 80 countries at different levels of economic development and the legal and regulatory frameworks in 125 countries. Collective bargaining report highlights Collective bargaining can contribute to narrowing the gender pay gap. Over half (59%) of the collective agreements reviewed by the ILO study reflect a joint commitment by employers or their organisations and workers’ organisations (particularly trade unions) to address gender inequality by ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, providing for parental and family leave and addressing gender-based violence at work. According to the report, over a third of employees (35%) in 98 countries have their wages, working time and other conditions of work set by autonomous collective negotiations between a trade union and an employer or employers’ organisation. But there is a considerable variation across countries, ranging from over 75% in many European countries and Uruguay to below 25% in around half of the countries for which data is available.  

US ports set new record for imports

Imports at US major retail container ports set a new record this spring and are expected to see near-record volume this month as retailers bring in merchandise ahead of rising costs and further supply chain issues. By Beth Wright The figures for US imports are according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. “Retailers are importing record amounts of merchandise to meet consumer demand, but they also have an incentive to stock up before inflation can drive costs higher,” says NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy, Jonathan Gold. “Whether it’s freight costs or the wholesale cost of merchandise, money retailers save is money that can be used to hold down prices for their customers during a time of inflation. In addition, retailers are preparing for any potential disruptions because of the West Coast port labor negotiations, which are set to begin next week. NRF has previously encouraged the parties to remain at the table and not engage in disruptions if a new contract is not reached by the time the current agreement expires 1 July.” US ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 2.34m Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units – one 20-foot container or its equivalent – in March, the latest month for which final numbers are available. That was up 10.8% from February and up 3.2% year over year. It also topped the previous record of 2.33m TEU set in May 2021 for the number of containers imported in a single month since NRF began tracking imports in 2002. Ports have not yet reported April numbers, but Global Port Tracker projected the month at 2.27m TEU, up 5.7% from last year. May is forecast at 2.3m TEU, which would be down 1.4% from last year but nonetheless the third-highest level on record

Recover opens recycling facility in Bangladesh Premium Article

DHAKA – Spanish textile recycler Recover has opened a new facility in Bangladesh to boost its manufacturing capabilities and directly service the country’s textile sector.   Bangladesh is the world’s second largest apparel exporter, after China, and is therefore deemed an appropriate location for expansion given the increasing demand for more ‘sustainable’ materials. Alfredo Ferre, Recover’s chief executive, said: “The new facility in Bangladesh is just one step in Recover’s ambitious expansion plans.” 

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