To the Person, UNI Global Union Christy Hoffman Secretary of the trade Union umbrella organisation UNI Global Union since the 2018 General. He is representing around 20 million workers from the services sector, and has negotiated agreements with multi-national corporations such as Carrefour, DHL, or H&M. Hoffmann has Sciences degrees in law and Economics and began her trade Union career in 1978 in a factory for aircraft engines in Connecticut. She is married, has two children and lives in the Swiss Nyon.
MIRROR ONLINE: Ms. Hoffmann, the world economic forum in Davos bosses known as the meeting place of the Group. What guides you as a trade unionist there?
Hoffman: I’m there for the first Time, because I was only elected in June to the Secretary-General. But our organization is invited for many years to Davos to represent the voice of workers.
MIRROR ONLINE: And how are the reactions?
Hoffman: I can’t say that our views have to be in most discussions. But for us, it is a very good opportunity to talk with the media, because people are looking for alternative point of view. In the case of issues such as digitisation, climate change and growing inequality, the voice must be represented by workers.
MIRROR ONLINE: In Europe has admitted Ryanair recently after a long refusal, for the first time on collective bargaining. In New York, and in the case of some large US corporations such as Amazon, there is, in the future, a minimum wage of 15 dollars. Unions be more powerful?
Hoffman: I think there is in many countries, the recognition that competition makes lots of Group work. People are pissed that they get their fair share. You can see that through the digitalization of income and wealth from people like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to grow enormously. Nevertheless, there were, for example, in Western Europe in 2017, real wage growth. Under these conditions, I see the future of the trade unions are very optimistic.
MIRROR ONLINE: In Davos will be discussed digitization mostly as a positive development. Do not share this view?
Hoffman: unions are not against digitization, of which all are affected from Cleaning staff up to sellers. But we don’t like it when digitisation is used as an excuse to provide only precarious Jobs.
MIRROR ONLINE: What is the role of companies like Amazon or Google play from your point of view?
Hoffman: Both rely heavily on temporary workers. In the case of Google, half of the workers of temporary work agencies comes about, and these people deserve much less than conventional employees. In the case of Amazon, the working conditions are stressful, the high required pace endangers the safety. At the core of Amazon a anti-Union philosophy, according to which it pays workers rather more, and no trade unions to join in the conversation.
MIRROR ONLINE: European politicians want to thumb through a digital tax a higher portion of the profits of companies such as Amazon. You think that is a sensible approach?
Hoffman: A digital tax could be a possibility, but in the case of Amazon, there are also other ideas. Belongs to regulate the group as a public supplier, or even split, because his market is too dangerous for traditional industries.
MIRROR ONLINE: in view of the digitization is increasingly being demanded that workers must work significantly less, or even not necessarily, because there is a unconditional basic income. Trade unions are superfluous?
Hoffman: I think not. The work will not emanate from our point of view, so soon, such forecasts have proved in the past as wrong. With the digitalisation, it is even more important to create a balance to the Power of the employer.
MIRROR ONLINE: At work are struggling in the digital economy you can’t just leave an entire workforce from the factory, marching as before.
Hoffman: Well, we represent service occupations, which have always worked, rarely under one roof. But look at what the Google employees: There’s 20,000 people in 14 countries have been on strike at the same time. Why? Just because you were able to organize within four days, with the help of digital technology.
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MIRROR ONLINE: Actually should come this year, Donald Trump back to Davos. Last year, he said: “We will liberate our businesses and workers.” How does it from your point of view so far?
Donald Trump’s visit to US steel workers (file photo)
Hoffman: An Interview is to short, to all the attacks of the Trump government to count on the employee. The latest example of his complete indifference to him triggered the Shutdown. Many of the 800,000 Affected will get their loss of Earnings are never replaced, including cleaning staff already paid always at the worst. These people could be in the worst case, even the homeless.
MIRROR ONLINE: And you think the concerns of the workers are Trump really doesn’t matter?
Hoffman: Yes, he refuses to part even. Workers are from trump’s point of view, only a white factory worker. No one else deserved his attention.