The ITUC and the ETUC have welcomed the EU’s adoption of a new financial instrument for the block’s external action for the period 2021-27, the ‘Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe’ (NDICI-Global Europe).
On 21 April 2021, the European Commission presented its long-awaited proposal on the regulation of artificial intelligence. The regulation is the follow-up to the 2020 White Paper process, in which the ETUC also participated. The proposed regulation builds on the internal market rules regulating the development and placement of products and services using AI in the EU single market. The regulation does not address liability. In this context, the Commission refers to the revision of the Product Liability Directive which is foreseen in the second half of the year.
Women are at greater exposure to the consequences of the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic. This Recovery needs to put the achievement of equality at the centre.
We are calling for
1. More support for trade unions so that they can spearhead the fight for gender equality.
When women join together in their trade union they can bargain for a better deal, increased pay, more security, training, health and safety, a say over working hours, fairer promotions, more paid leave and a decent pension.
Although there has been European law on equal pay for women and men for 45 years, the gender pay gap in the European Union is still unacceptably large at over 14%. At the current very slow rate of progress, pay equality will not be achieved across the European Union until the next century (2104) and will never be reached in some Member States.
ETUC’s DECENT WORK & SUSTAINABLE GROWTH INDEX
Decent work and sustainable growth are one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals which the EU signed-up to in 2015. The report prepared for the ETUC by a team of researchers of the highly respected Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development ASviS, led by Prof. Enrico Giovannini, measures progress towards the goal on three measures: economic wellbeing, employment quality and labour vulnerability (merged also into one overall index).
We are writing to you in view of the discussions taking place in the informal meeting of employment, social policy, health and consumer affairs ministers on 22 February 2021, on the forthcoming Commission’s proposal on the Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Social Summit.
The new CAP needs social conditionality - End exploitation and raise labour standards in European agriculture
Together with other 300 organisations, the ETUC signed this open letter addressed to key Commissioners, EU Parliament negotiating MEPs, and national agriculture ministers
European youth are severely affected by the pandemic. One in six young people lost their job due to the economic consequences of COVID-19. In September 2020, the EU youth unemployment rate was 17.1%. Youth unemployment has soared in several countries, including Spain (40,5%), Italy (29,7%), Bulgaria (18,3%) and France (19,6%).
Solidarity Letter sent to Bogdan Iuliu Hossu, President, CARTEL ALFA
ETUC fully supports Cartel-Alfa in its actions to oppose Government austerity and to end wage poverty and pension inequality.
ETUC strongly endorses Cartel-Alfa’s calls for social rights.
It is unacceptable that the Government:
The ETUC welcomes the launch of a consultation, and debate, on responding to the impacts of an ageing society.
ETUC Confederal Secretary Liina Carr said “Ageing is not just a cost. Longer lives are a benefit and should be valued for the greater knowledge, experience and the potential benefits for family and community life.”
ETUC welcomes the European Parliament’s interest in the right to disconnect. It is an important right for the quality and dignity of life of working people. It is a right that European employers’ organisations refuse to recognise and are trying to block.
The ETUC is calling on the S&D Group to withdraw the last-minute damaging amendment preventing legislative action on the right to disconnect for three years – which in reality means around eight years (given the length of the legislative process and coming-into-force period).
Brussels, 19 January 2021
Members of the European Parliament
Workers experience a lot difficulties securing the right to disconnect in reality and the ETUC and the ETUFs urge the Commission to come forth with a proposal for a Directive quickly.
Tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th January, amendments to the report on the right to disconnect will be tabled.
I am contacting you to raise the concern of trade unions across Europe that with few days to the end of the transition period, agreement is still to be reached. This uncertainty adds to the already destabilising employment situation due to the pandemic and the planned end of the support measures next year.
The ETUC congratulates its Austrian affiliate ÖGB for reaching a new tripartite agreement on short-time work.
Thanks to the strength of Austria’s trade unions, it was one of the first countries in Europe to secure workers’ incomes during the crisis and it is now leading the way in extending support.
This comes at a time where around 340.000 applications for short-time work have been filed in the country.
This is a living document: the page will be constantly updated
The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest health, economic and social challenge in the history of the European Union. Numerous European and national measures have been implemented to fight the spread of the Covid-19 virus, also including those appertaining to workplaces and commuting to work.
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.