Less than one month after the start of lockdowns in many EU countries due to COVID-19 outbreak, the number of additional unemployed workers has crossed 4 million, with hundreds of thousands of companies closed and many unlikely to survive the emergency.
At the same time, measures to support companies facing difficulties and to provide workers suspended from work with short-time work arrangements and income compensation have been put in place in most Member States, making it possible to save millions of jobs.
European Social Partners' letter to the attention of Mrs Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Mr Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President, Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner on the situation in Poland
The ETUC sent tow letters to Hugarian Prime Minister Orban and to European Commission President Von Der Leyen about the legislation passed in Hungary on 31 March.
Letter to Prime Minister of Hungary
Letter to President of the European Commission
Brussels, 30 March 2020
To Executive Committee
For information to ETUC Member Organisations
Please see attached the position paper on the 2020 European Semester - Autumn Package adopted at the Extraordinary Executive Committee on 9-10 March 2020.
Letter sent to: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; Charles Michel, President of the European Council; Prime Ministers/Head of State; David Sassoli, President European Parliament; Andrej Plenković, President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia; Mario Centeno, President of the Eurogroup; Christine Lagarde, President European Central Bank
Concerns: Emergency measures to save jobs and protect workers’ rights in the European Union
Dear Presidents, Dear Prime Ministers, Dear Head of State,
Dear Prime Minister, Dear Minister,
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has been informed by its Croatian affiliates, SSSH and NHS, that the Croatian Ministry of Labour and Pension System is drafting an Act on regulating labour relations in the circumstances of the COVID-19 epidemic and by which bring some important changes to fundamental social rights as they are currently enshrined in the Croatian Labour Code.
The law would amongst others “temporarily”:
Respect for human rights and fundamental values should be guiding the Union in all its internal as well as external actions. In everyday life as well as in times of crises, the universality and indivisibility of human rights must be upheld to ensure human dignity at both global and local level.
The COVID-19 emergency is hitting working people in Europe hard.
Those who work in activities of general interest, such as health care, transportation, agriculture, food production, and many other services are exposed to contagion and are poorly protected. In many cases their working conditions have been worsened.
Call to EU institutions and national governments to protect workers now and in the future.
The ETUC Youth Committee is deeply concerned about the spread of coronavirus throughout Europe, particularly in countries such as Italy. Such concerns relate to the repercussions this is having on the lives of thousands of people, as well as on economic activities, employment and the social dimension and resilience of the entire European Union.
Make money on value, not on health
Appeal from the European Trade Union Confederation, with the support of economists and personalities, on extraordinary macroeconomic measures to tackle the COVID-19 emergency
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the Pan European Regional Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (PERC) welcome the European Commission’s proposals for a renewed Eastern Partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Both trade union organisations welcome the commitment of the European Commission to continue and deepen the Eastern Partnership with the six EU neighborhood countries.
ETUC Declaration on the COVID-19 Outbreak
In addition to the text below agreed by the ETUC Executive Committee, the ETUC has cancelled all its meetings until April 19 that involve its staff or members travelling abroad, and instructed its staff not to travel abroad for other meetings, as part of a package of measures to deal with Covid-19.
Adopted at the Executive Committee of the 9-10 March 2020
The European Trade Union Movement will welcome the forthcoming EU industrial strategy if the proposals are fair for workers, supportive of the most vulnerable regions and sectors and with sufficient funding to be implemented properly. Workers and trade unions are part of the solution and expect an inclusive governance process to shape and implement the strategy.
Brussels, 4th November 2019
To Executive Committee
For information to ETUC Member Organisations
Following the last Executive Committee meeting on 22-23 October, we would like to share with you the following adopted documents (Item 10 & 11):
On 19 February 2020 the European Commission will announce its strategy for a Europe fit for the digital age.
The ETUC got reassurance from Commissioner Breton on 10 February that trade unions and workers’ representatives will be part of the solutions shaping a sustainable and socially acceptable digital transition within the EU industrial policy strategy, in particular via an inclusive governance structure.
A European directive on Human Rights due diligence and responsible business conduct including their supply chains will make the difference in better protecting workers rights and environmental standards. The Commission needs to act!
In the next days, the European Commission will publish a report of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) on due diligence requirements for supply chains. The report analyses the state of play and the need for initiatives at European level, paving the way to a possible commission initiative.
Forthcoming European Commission Communication on Artificial Intelligence: ETUC CALLS FOR AN AMBITIOUS STRATEGY RESPECTFUL OF WORKERS
Ahead of the upcoming European Commission’s 2020 white paper on artificial intelligence, the European Trade Union Confederation reiterates the need for an ambitious European AI strategy to maintain and reinforce workers’ protection and involvement, and empower them to create sustainable use of AI tools.
On Tuesday 11 February, the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), the main monitoring body of the Council of Europe European Social Charter, decided - on a complaint submitted by Italian union CGIL against the Italian government (No. 158/2017) - that the right to protection in cases of termination of employment was violated by Italian law.