16.09.2021 Press release

ETUC response to recommendation on the safety of journalists

medai safety
Commenting on the European Commission recommendation on the safety of journalists, ETUC’s Liina Carr commented: “The ETUC supports any action to ensure the safety of journalists. It is clear that no journalist, and indeed no worker, should die or be harmed for doing their job.   “The European Commission rightly highlights the importance of the safety of journalists for democracy and media freedom, as well for the health and safety of workers who are under increasing threat in Europe.
16.09.2021 Press release

MEPs vote to end false self-employment by platforms

food delivery rider
The European Parliament has backed proposals to prevent platform companies from forcing workers into false self-employment. Millions of workers are being denied their right to the minimum wage, holiday and sick pay, and a secure employment contract by some platform companies dodging their responsibilities as employers. False self-employment not only exploits workers but is unfair to the majority of employers who play by the rules and allows some of the biggest companies in the world to avoid tax and social security contributions needed to fund public services for us all.
15.09.2021 Press release

SOTEU: The right soundbites but few solutions

Responding to the state of the union speech, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said: “Ursula von der Leyen’s speech included all the right soundbites about the problems facing working people but was short on solutions.
13.09.2021 Press release

EU platform rules urgent after Dutch defeat for Uber

FNV Uber
European trade unions have today secured a third major victory this year against Uber’s exploitation of drivers, showing the urgent need for the EU to end the scandal of false self-employment by platform companies. In a case brought by the FNV trade union on behalf of Uber drivers, the Court of Amsterdam ruled that “the legal relationship between Uber and these drivers meets all the characteristics of an employment contract.”
  • 08.09.2021 Press release

    Foresight Report fails to put people at its heart

    The European Commission has published a disappointingly vague Annual Strategic Foresight Report that fails to clearly put people at the heart of its long-term thinking. While the report addresses general mega trends, it misses the crucial and human fact of the need for social progress and justice, and jobs. This is vital for managing the climate and technological changes ahead in a just and inclusive way.   The report only mentions closer participation with unions and employers in relation to training and needs to go well beyond that.  
  • 01.09.2021 Press release

    ETUC New Deputy General Secretary

    Claes Mikael Stahl
    ETUC is delighted to announce new Deputy General Secretary Claes-Mikael Ståhl, who started at ETUC today. Claes-Mikael is Swedish and has worked for Swedish blue-collar union LO since 2007, primarily on collective bargaining.   He has EU experience having worked in Brussels from 2003 to 2006, first for the EU Office of the Swedish Trade Unions and then for the ETUC. He has just moved to Brussels with his wife and two children.
  • 30.08.2021 Press release

    Workers get longer holidays with collective bargaining

    Collective bargaining holiday bonus
    Workers who benefit from collective bargaining enjoy up to two weeks extra paid holiday per year, an analysis of EU data for the ETUC has found as millions prepare to return to work after the summer break. Ten more days holiday on top of the legal minimum is enjoyed by German and Croatian workers whose working conditions are set through negotiations by trade unions and employers. 
  • 10.08.2021 Press release

    ETUC comment on the IPCC’s latest report

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently issued a very worrying report on climate change, tracing fingerprints of manmade pollution across the changing climate. The reports clearly shows “that every fraction of warming makes the planet less safe – and that every bit of action contributes to a safer future.”
  • 05.08.2021 Press release

    Tribute to Richard Trumka

    Richard Trumka
    The global trade union movement has lost one of its giants with the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
  • 02.08.2021 Press release

    Low income leaves 35 million without holiday

    Workers receiving poverty-level pay are among 35 million of the poorest Europeans who can’t afford a summer holiday, ETUC research has found amid the campaign to strengthen the EU’s wages directive. While access to holidays has grown over the last decade, the majority of low income families remain excluded. Overall, 28% of EU citizens can’t afford a one week holiday away from home – but that rises to 59.5 for people whose income is below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold (60% of the median).
  • 14.07.2021 Press release

    Creation of a separate EU ETS for road transport and buildings: Raising energy bills risks Gilets Jaunes backlash against climate action

    Gilets Jaunes
    The European Commission’s proposal to make working people foot the cost of the green transition by raising the price of petrol and household energy risks creating a Gilets Jaunes-style backlash against urgently-needed climate action. Workers facing an increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events know better than anyone the need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so European trade unions support the more ambitious climate action contained in the Fit for 55 package launched today.
  • 13.07.2021 Press release

    Unions back work permits for undocumented migrant hunger strikers

    The ETUC is backing calls by Belgian unions for undocumented migrants to be given work permits in a bid to end a hunger strike by more than 400 people in Brussels. The group of undocumented migrants, many of whom have been forced to work in the shadow economy for up to a decade, began the action on May 23 to highlight their request for regularisation and their condition is deteriorating rapidly as it enters a fourth week.
  • 08.07.2021 Speech

    Luca Visentini speech to Informal EPSCO, Ljubljana, 8 July 2021

    Luca Visentini
    Minister, Vice President, Commissioner, Ministers, colleagues of social partners and social platform, Managing the COVID Emergency was essential to protect jobs and businesses and make our labor market resilient. Now that we are getting out of the pandemic, we need to bridge the gap before recovery starts, in order to avoid an explosion of unemployment. Emergency measures to protect jobs, wages and working conditions, and to strengthen social protection systems must be continued for all the time necessary.
  • 07.07.2021 Press release

    EU recovery shows need to reform budget rules

    Liina quote on forecast
    The European economy is set to recover faster than expected from the Covid crisis thanks to higher EU and national government spending, according to the summer economic forecast published today by the European Commission. According to the European Commission: EU GDP is on course to return to pre-pandemic levels later this year thanks to growth of 4.8%, which is 0.6% higher than projected in the Commission’s spring forecast.  The European Commission explained:
  • 05.07.2021 Press release

    Romanian workers stage 2,000km protest against low pay

    Cartel Alfa arrive at ITUH
    A group of Romanian trade unionists have today completed a four-day rolling protest between Bucharest and Brussels over the low wages forcing their fellow citizens to make similar journeys to find decent work. The “Caravan of Social Rights” made up of 13 members of the Cartel Alfa trade union set off on the journey of over 2,000 kilometres on Friday, stopping in Budapest, Vienna, Munich and Luxembourg along the way to stage protests outside Romanian embassies with the support of local trade unions. 
  • 30.06.2021 Press release

    Rise in rights violations make due diligence directive urgent

    Global Rights Index
    Trade unions are calling on the European Commission to name a date for the promised directive on corporate responsibility as a new report reveals rising levels of abuse in workplaces across the world. Attacks on civil liberties like arbitrary arrests and detention of workers, along with limits on the right to assembly or to join a trade union, have reached an eight year high during the pandemic, according to the new Global Rights Index released today by the International Trade Union Confederation.
  • 28.06.2021 Press release

    EU urges action over fall in labour inspections

    Health and safety
    The European Commission has today joined trade unions in calling on member states to address health and safety failures putting workers’ lives at risk – but stopped short of taking real action themselves. 
  • 28.06.2021 Press release

    Treaty change needed to protect social rights

    Conference on the Future of Europe
    Treaty change must be on the table in the Conference of the Future of Europe if the process is to have a meaningful outcome, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini has warned EU leaders today. Speaking at a high-level ETUC event on the conference alongside its executive board co-chairs Guy Verhofstadt and Ana Paula Zacarias, Visentini said it must move past institutional “process” which has caused delays and focus on delivering “ambitious content” that can reconnect Europe with working people.
  • 23.06.2021 Press release

    Growing AI surveillance of workers likely illegal

    Big brother businesses
    Employers using software to monitor workers’ every movement are likely to be in breach of EU privacy laws, trade unions warn today as they launch a new report on artificial intelligence at work. The use of surveillance programmes which allow management to monitor every mouse movement and keyboard stroke of their workers – or even access their webcam and microphone – has grown during confinement.
  • 19.06.2021 Speech

    Luca Visentini speech to Conference on Future of Europe

    Luca Visentini speaking at Conference on Future of Europe, June 2021
    Strasbourg, 19 June 2021 Thank you chair. The European trade unions and workers support this Conference and are highly committed to contribute to shaping a fairer European Union that takes care of people. When this process was launched there was a need to reconnect citizens to institutions, to overcome inequalities and social exclusion as consequences of the financial crisis and austerity policies, to cope with the challenges of climate change and digitalisation, to rebuild European democracy.