Making excellence a habit
Over 100 freight forwarding workers at a large warehouse servicing multiple companies in the furniture sector outside of Bologna in Emilia Romagna, Italy launched an indefinite strike yesterday over poor working conditions. A union representative stated that the contracted transporters, most of whom are from Moldova and Romania, worked twelve hours a day for six to seven days a week and faced several other labor violations, such as overtime arrears, irregular use of apprenticeship contracts, and unlawful suspensions after speaking with union leaders. The long hours have reportedly caused a disproportionate number of accidents and illnesses at work as well.
Union leaders representing approximately 100,000 workers called for strikes in the apparel, footwear, and textiles industry in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany beginning in February. The announcement of labor action comes after a stalemate in wage negotiations, with employees angered that the proposed increase does not match the projected inflation rate in the country. A previous agreement limiting strikes during the period of negotiations is expected to end on January 31. No specific demonstration times and locations have been released as yet. BSI will continue to closely monitor this man-made disruption for additional effects on business continuity in Germany.
A gang of at least three people from Eastern Europe hijacked a truck loaded with over $500,000 of tobacco products during a delivery in Saint-Paul-en-Jarez of the Loire department in France. The armed attackers struck just as the delivery truck arrived outside a local tobacco shop, bounding the two drivers and transferring 400 boxes of cigarettes to their own van. That vehicle used for the theft was then found burnt a few kilometers away in order to mask their escape. In their testimonies, the drivers stated that they heard Eastern European accents during the heist. A subsequent police investigation assessed that more than three people were involved and likely linked to Georgian, Romanian, or Albanian mafia groups establishing operations in Loire and the neighboring departments of Rhone and Isere.