Measures fall short of protecting posted workers in the outbreak of COVID-19
Posted workers in the EU face particular challenges in view of the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures imposed, not only in terms of border restrictions on the free movement of workers and services, but also in terms of emergency measures introduced to mitigate and protect workers and businesses from negative consequences of the crisis. Posted workers are at particular risk of being left behind.
On 13 May 2020, the European Commission issued a Communication on a phased and coordinated approach for restoring freedom of movement and lifting internal border controls. This guidance document is complemented by specific Guidelines on the progressive restoration of transport services and connectivity.
Economic and social policies to date have focused excessively on fiscal discipline rather than on public investment in health and care, this crisis clearly showing that this was to the detriment of the people in general. This fiscal discipline focused on austerity, cuts and privatisation; as a result, aging was seen as a cost on the country’s budget and financing of the health sector dwindled. ETUC has been denouncing the weakness of the health care systems in Europe for many years.
Migrant workers in Europe are on the frontline of the response to the COVID-19 crisis. Now more than ever, the crucial contribution of migrant workers to support European economies, public services and fill labour shortages is crystal clear. These workers are to be found in those sectors most hit by the crisis agriculture, domestic and care work, public healthcare at all levels, food industry, construction, tourism, transport) putting their lives at risk for the sake of all of us. Their work is essential; however, they are the forgotten ones.
On 30 March 2020 the European Commission published Guidelines on the exercise of the free movement of workers in view of the COVID-19 outbreak and the border restrictions that have been put in place by Member States. The aim of these Guidelines is to ensure that mobile workers, such as frontier, posted and seasonal workers within the EU, will be able to reach their workplace also in cross-border situations between Member States, in particular workers in critical occupations.
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.
The European Trade Union Confederation represents 45 million workers from 90 national trade unions in 38 European countries and 10 European sectoral trade union federations. It presents the following priorities for the new mandate of the EU institutions, particularly the new Commission’s Work Programme and strategic agenda for the next five years.
EU Employment Ministers meeting in the Employment Council yesterday agreed to recommend that all member states should guarantee adequate and effective social protection - such as sickness, unemployment, maternity and paternity benefits and pensions - to all working people including the self-employed. Unfortunately the Ministers did NOT agree to recommend that mandatory social protection should include the self-employed – who now make up more than 15% of the Europe’s workforce - somewhat undermining the principle of equal social protection for all.
EU Employment Ministers today agreed a ‘general approach’ on the Regulation establishing a European Labour Authority (ELA).
This now means the final regulation to set up the Authority will be negotiated in trialogue discussions between national government officials, MEPs and the European Commission.
Trade unions this week succeeded in getting Just Transition accepted as an integral part of the UN framework of climate action.
At the opening of COP24 in Katowice the Polish Presidency presented its ‘Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration’ with the full support of the European Union.
Letter sent to Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania
Subject: Lithuania needs a significant increase of the minimum monthly wage
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) supports the position of the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LTUC/LPSK), which is its affiliate, and favours its aim to raise the minimum monthly wage in Lithuania by 50 instead of 20 euros.
Letter sent to Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and to Ms Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
Dear High Representative Mogherini, dear Commissioner Thyssen,
To the EPSCO Council Ministers
Make the European Pillar of Social Rights real – Adopt a meaningful general approach for the Work-Life Balance and Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directives
I am writing to you in view of the discussions taking place in EPSCO on 21st June, on the Commission’s proposals for two Directives aimed at achieving the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, recently proclaimed by all Member States.
It’s in your hands – the fate of working parents and carers across Europe depends on you
Time for the EPSCO Council to adopt a position on the EU Work-Life Balance directive
Brussels, 18 June 2018
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has instituted an award to honour the outstanding and dynamic scientific work, of great value to the European trade union movement, of the late labour law Professor Brian Bercusson: the ETUC Brian Bercusson Award.
Through this Award, the ETUC and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) support academic research that deepens understanding and promotes transnational workers’ rights in Europe.
Brussels, 23 March 2018
Dear Prime Minister
The ITUC and ETUC have several times expressed to you their deepest concerns, directly or indirectly, about the developments taking place in Turkey since the failed coup of 15 July 2016.
Brussels, 22 January 2018
To the members of the permanent committee on Standardisation
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
On Thursday 25th January, from 9h00 to 12h50, we give a hands-on training on standardisation for our new experts. You can remotely join in, learn and actively participate by clicking on the following link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/295928229 - But you do need a camera, micro and headphones to join our training.
Re: implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights
Dear Donald, Dear Prime Ministers/Heads of States,
I thank you, on behalf of the European Trade Union Confederation, for the commitment you are going to endorse in the European Council this week on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, proclaimed in Gothenburg on 17 November 2017.
ETUC Assessment on the Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances
Adopted by the Executive Committee at its meeting on 25-26 October 2017
The Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances, published on 28 June 2017, is the last one out of the five that the European Commission announced when publishing its White Paper on the Future of Europe on 1st March 2017.
The Reflection Paper presents five scenarios for the future of European finances.
The ETUC TU-I index below shows the involvement of trade unions at the milestones of the semester cycle at national level. It is still largely unsatisfactory. Despite the commitment of the Juncker Commission to a new start for social dialogue in recent years, governments have too often largely disregarded the involvement of trade unions in the design and implementation of their reform plans.