"Flexicurity" Communication: ETUC insists on smart labour market reforms
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) notes today’s publication of the European Commission’s Communication on flexicurity. The ETUC is ready to discuss a modern approach to reform, investing in lifelong learning, gender equality, social dialogue, collective bargaining and good quality jobs. The ETUC regrets the bias in the communication against the protection and stability of jobs, which is a key worker right as well as the basis for productive enterprises. Reforms should complement and not replace job protection systems with measures promoting transition into rewarding jobs.
Job protection, far from being jettisoned, underpins this modern reform agenda of a more efficient and inclusive labour market. It supports productivity, innovation and access of workers to training by promoting stable employment relations and protecting workers from unfair dismissal. Notifying workers well in advance of dismissal and change, functions as an ‘early-warning’ signal so that measures to prepare for upwards mobility can be taken.
Flexicurity must incorporate security as well as flexibility, backed by strong social protection. It should also help workers to reconcile their work and family lives, and give them more choice and autonomy in the workplace. Access to lifelong learning - maximising the skills and potential of each individual - must be a priority.
A stronger role for social partners and collective bargaining at both the European and national level is key.
“We are worried about the current expansion of precarious jobs in Europe. Giving companies more freedom to dismiss, which appears to be the core idea of the Communication, will only make matters worse.” warned ETUC General Secretary John Monks. “More and better jobs for all is the real solution to labour market segmentation and social exclusion, and not more precarious jobs for all”.
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