In Luxembourg workers of clothing-retail company H&M protest against reduction in year-end bonus

Swedish clothing-retail brand Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) in Luxembourg decided to reduce the workers’ year-end bonus, equivalent to the two months of partial unemployment caused by the lockdown between March and May

December 22, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Workers protest at the H&M store located on the Grand Rue in Luxembourg | Credit : OGBL.

On Saturday, December 19, workers of the Swedish clothing-retail brand Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) in Luxembourg protested against the management’s backtracking on a collective agreement. The protest was organized under the leadership of the Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGBL) in the wake of the management’s decision to cut off a part of the workers’ year-end bonus. The Communist Party of Luxembourg (KPL) and the Déi Lénk (The Left) have expressed solidarity with protesting workers.

According to reports, the management of H&M, without prior consultation, took the decision to cut down the end-of-year bonus by an amount which corresponds to the two months of partial unemployment caused by the COVID-19 lockdown between March and May. In its statement, OGBL has said that H&M’s decision not only constitutes a violation of the provisions of the H&M personnel collective agreement which was negotiated and signed between the OGBL and the management, but it also constitutes an attack against union bargaining rights.

On Saturday, while addressing the gathering of around hundred workers at the Grand Rue in Luxembourg, OGBL secretary, David Angel, reiterated that the union will not tolerate attacks on hard-won social achievements.

In the solidarity statement, Communist Party of Luxembourg (KPL) chairman, Ali Ruckert, stated that this incident is not an exception. “Just a few days ago, the employees of 19 H&M branches in Germany protested against the poor working and wage conditions and the hyper-flexible working hours,” he said.

Déi Lénk (The Left) has stated that “It is unacceptable that this capitalist giant’s gratitude for the efforts of staff who have continued to work during the COVID-19 pandemic is manifested in the form of theft of rewards and infringement of rights clearly laid down in the collective contract.”