Let me start by saying how happy I am to be in this Stakeholder event today. The work within the transatlantic dialogue has been really dynamic since Pittsburgh. And I am convinced that a strong involvement of stakeholders will make the TTC a continuing success with tangible results.
The European Trade Union Confederation has been working hand in hand with the AFL-CIO. And we have also put forward a joint statement (which is available on our websites) highlighting our priorities for the work ahead. Cathy Feingold will also speak later today.
Platform companies are trying to trick workers out of choosing an employment contract by offering poorer quality private insurance.
The European Commission's platform work directive has laid the ground for workers currently being falsely self-employed to be reclassified as employees, delivering on their right to sick pay, paid holiday or parental leave.
The conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe will be delivered to the Presidents of the EU institutions on Monday.
The European Parliament, the Commission and the Council must ensure that these Conclusions are respected and become reality.
This means changes to policies, to work programmes, to the budget, as well as legislative initiatives, but it means also changes to the Treaties.
The EU Treaties should ensure people are always put before profit, the Conference on the Future of Europe has recommended.
Message from our General Secretary Luca Visentini for #MayDay
"ETUC is fighting for a fairer Europe for workers – a more social Europe - for collective bargaining for all and adequate minimum wages, for equal pay, for decent work, for equality between men and women. We are fighting for sustainable and inclusive growth, and a socially just transition to a climate-friendly economy. We are fighting to stop any return to austerity. Solidarity on May 1st"
Almost 30,000 people may lose their lives at work in the EU over this decade without action to make workplaces safer, trade unions are warning on International Workers’ Memorial Day.
The number of fatal workplace accidents fell slowly over of the last decade, although progress was far from steady with deaths rising again in 2019, according to Eurostat data.
Another 27,041 workplace deaths should be expected between 2020 and 2029 if change continues at the same pace as during the last decade, an analysis by the European Trade Union Institute has found (see Notes below).
The European Parliament has today paved the way for action needed to end Europe’s 13% gender pay gap.
MEPs voted in favour of a report on the gender pay transparency directive which includes the following improvements to the European Commission’s draft proposal:
Food, medicine, beds, clothes and transport are among the emergency aid being provided to refugees from the war in Ukraine as part of a massive humanitarian mobilisation by trade unions.
The ETUC and its national affiliates across Europe are providing millions of Euro for aid which is being delivered on the ground by unions in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
Commenting on the publication of the European Commission's first circular economy package, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said :
"This is another missed opportunity to integrate a just transition in a much-needed climate policy.
“Accelerating the shift to a circular economy is an opportunity to fight climate change, reduce our environmental impact and create new jobs while reducing our dependency on Russia. The package proposed today by the Commission therefore goes in the right direction.
Commenting on the conclusion of the European Council summit, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“Around 9.5 million working people already had problems paying their bills and the energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine is likely to plunge millions more into fuel poverty. Meanwhile, energy companies are banking record profits.
VTC Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment "A united tripartite response to the social and economic impact of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine"
Opening speech of Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary (23 March 2022)
[To be checked against delivery]
Colleagues of the Social Partners,
Commenting on European Commission measures to deliver rights for Ukrainian refugees , ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:
“Refugees from all over the world are preyed upon by bad employers and landlords who exploit their vulnerability to increase profits.
“Thankfully the temporary protection directive – used for the first time now but not during the 2015 migrant crisis - means refugees from Ukraine have the right to equal pay and conditions at work which trade unions have long called for all refugees to benefit from.
A majority of citizens believe the EU’s break with austerity rules during the pandemic should be made permanent in order to create more jobs and tackle climate change, new polling shows.
A central part of the EU’s economic rules had to be suspended when Covid-19 hit to allow countries to invest in healthcare and jobs and a survey of 5,000 people in five member states found 58% of people say member states should continue to have more flexibility of borrowing.
Following Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, trade unions across Europe have called for peace and declared their solidarity with the Ukrainian workers and their families whose lives and livelihoods are being destroyed by war. In this edition of National UPdates we look also at how trade unions are defending workers in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, amid rising living costs.
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Commenting ahead of the Versailles meeting of EU leaders today, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ETUC said
“What is most urgently needed now are initiatives to stop the war and relieve the suffering of the Ukrainian people, and emergency measures to reduce energy prices and to protect jobs and businesses.
Workplace measures have been largely overlooked in EU plans to crackdown on violence against women despite women workers reporting high levels of abuse.
The European Commission has today launched a draft directive on combating violence against women which contains many much-needed measures and the ETUC applauds the fact Commissioners have marked International Women’s Day with action rather than just words.
Ukrainian trade unions are providing food and shelter to people after the Russian invasion amid attacks which have left people’s homes, workplaces, and infrastructure badly damaged.
The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPSU) and Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) trade unions, which represent almost 5 million workers, have thrown open the doors of their buildings across the country to people seeking refuge, including women and their children, elderly people and now people wounded in the conflict.
The emphasis placed today by the European Commission on the need to promote investment and sustainable growth, and on ‘differentiated fiscal strategies’, in its 2023 Fiscal Guidelines is a hopeful sign for a major shift in EU economic policy and reform in economic policy-making rules says ETUC.
ETUC Demonstation for Peace&Dialogue, Brussels, 24/02/2022
Speech by Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary
"We face a tragedy, war is back to Europe with its worst face after decades.
We condemn the Russian aggression against Ukrainian people and ask EU leaders gathering this evening to put in place all the measures needed to stop military operations and come back to dialogue for peace.
Joint ETUC-ITUC statement on Ukraine
The ETUC and ITUC condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demand that all Russian forces leave Ukraine immediately.
The attack on Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law and of Ukraine’s territorial integrity as a sovereign and democratic state.
Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ETUC and of the ITUC Pan-European Regional Council said: