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”:
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.
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 Union Confederation (ETUC) welcomed the ruling of the European Court of Justice on recording working hours which should end the widespread practice of unpaid overtime.
Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary, commented “Workers can’t afford to give their time to employers for free. Member States will need to work with employers and unions to review national laws and practices and ensure that all working time is paid and workers are properly compensated when they put in over time.”
The ETUC gives a cautious welcome to the agreement for EU legislation on whistleblowing and the introduction of an EU wide obligation on employers to both protect and listen to workers who raise concerns at work. The Directive requires employers with more than 50 employees to have written workplace whistleblowing procedures in place.
As the EU’s flagship whistleblowing Directive reaches the final stage of negotiations between national Governments and the European Parliament, trade unions warn that the EU risks ending up with a Directive that protects companies more than it protects whistleblowers!
Ground-breaking legislation to outlaw the “scourge” of zero-hour and low-hours contracts came into effect in Ireland on 1 March 2019, after a five-year campaign by the trade union movement.
Patricia King, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, described the legislation as “one of the most significant pieces of employment law in 20 years”.
Brussels, 24 January 2019
To the Permanent Representatives to the European Union
Tomorrow, Friday 25th January you will discuss the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive in Coreper. It is a decisive meeting steering the Council position in the trilogue negotiations.
Today the European Parliament Employment Committee voted to adopt a report on the proposal for a new EU Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions.
Commenting on the vote Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary, said “What's needed next is that the European Parliament confirms the decision next week in Plenary in Strasbourg.”
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.
Responding today to the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary, welcomed some important improvements, although this reform is not the game-changer unions needed or expected.
Ten years after the disastrous anti-worker Laval ruling by the European Court of Justice – on 18 December 2007 – the European Trade Union Confederation says the European Pillar of Social Rights obliges the EU to repair the damage caused.
Tomorrow, Thursday 21 September, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will be provisionally applied: over 90 percent of the deal’s provisions will begin taking effect tomorrow, but matters such as investment protection and the new investment court system, requiring unanimous approval by EU member states, will have to wait.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has been pressing with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) for improvements throughout the long negotiations.
The European Court of Justice today ruled that Ryanair workers based in Belgium could take legal proceedings before Belgian courts, regardless of the fact that Ryanair claimed that the contracts are “subject to Irish law” and “Irish courts had jurisdiction”.
Welcoming the judgement, the European Trade Union Confederation’s Esther Lynch said “It is not for employers to choose which countries’ laws they wish to obey. The law of the land where the person is working should apply.”
The EU can and should do a lot more to protect workers who come forward and blow the whistle on wrongdoing.
Legal protection for whistleblowers throughout the EU is a complicated maze of protections and the various civil liability laws mean that some people may be penalised and held personally liable if they came forward. The lack of legal protection against persecution means that whistleblowers are subject to reprisals from employers which can be devastating for their careers and livelihoods.
Reforming the Litigation Group into the Fundamental Rights and Litigation Advisory Group
Adopted at the Executive Committee Meeting of 16th and 17th December 2015
Throughout Europe workers and their unions are experiencing attacks on their hard won rights, and fundamental human rights including labour rights are being questioned.