UNI Commerce will run a year-long, global campaign to stop violence and harassment at work, following a decision made at its annual steering committee meeting in Barcelona on 20-22 January 2020.

In collaboration with UNI Equal Opportunities, UNI Commerce will launch “There Is No Store for Violence and Harassment in Commerce” on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020.

Commerce workers are identified as some of the most vulnerable to violence and harassment at work, and a report of store workers by USDAW union in the UK found that 56 per cent of incidents go unreported.

The campaign will encourage affiliates to launch or advance their own campaigns at national level in coordination with UNI Global Union, and aim for broad ratification and effective implementation of the International Labour Organization Convention No.190 on eliminating violence and harassment at work. The campaign will also collect best practices to prevent violence in the sector.

In addition, the Steering Committee endorsed a strategic document which sets out ten key principles for the protection of commerce workers’ rights during restructuring processes. It also established a working group to advance progress towards a global charter on collective rights in commerce.  

Other decisions taken at the meeting for 2020 were:  

  • UNI Commerce will focus on Lidl, Costco and Primark as priority companies through working groups which will gather UNI Commerce affiliates together.
  • UNI Commerce will invest more in organizing e-commerce workers. Besides the Amazon campaign, specific activities will be conducted in order to grow union representation and collective bargaining in e-commerce.
  • Establish a Car Dealers’ Union Network to grow union power in the sub-sector.
  • Russia and Eastern Europe will be one of the strategic regions in terms of organizing and expanding collective bargaining in commerce.
  • Further research will be conducted on hypermarkets, fast-fashion, e-commerce and working hours in the sector.  

“We will do our best to reflect the enthusiasm and commitment of the meeting on our future work. We have a solid action plan to implement in 2020 to grow union power in hypermarkets, fast fashion, e-commerce, car dealers and home improvement sub-segments of commerce and in strategic companies and regions as well,” said Mathias Bolton, Head of Commerce, and added “Campaigning for ratification of ILO Convention 190 and fighting against violence and harassment will be one of our priorities.”