Our latest edition of Workers’ Voice National Updates picks out some interesting examples of how trade union collective bargaining with employers at local and national level achieves real benefits for workers and promotes more equal working conditions across the EU. Every three months we highlight just a few examples of how unions in Europe are cooperating across borders and working constructively with employers, governments and civil society organisations to foster social progress and justice.
The adoption of Council Conclusions on The changing world of work: reflections on new forms of work and implications for the safety and health of workers at today’s EPSCO meeting establishes a good foundation for the incoming European Commission to work on, commented the ETUC’s newly elected Deputy General Secretary Per Hilmersson.
In advance of tomorrow’s (Thursday 13 June) adoption of the Work-Life Balance Directive by the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), the ETUC calls on Member States to take urgent action to transpose into law and implement these new rights for working families.
“This is the first legislative advance to come out of the European Pillar of Social Rights, and it is crucial to demonstrate to EU citizens that it will mean real improvements in their lives,” said ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch.
Commenting on today’s economic policy recommendations (‘country specific recommendations’) by the European Commission, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said
“Although the Commission seems to be over-optimistic on investment and employment recovery in Europe, there is a clear shift in economic policy recommendations in favour of investment, social dialogue, education and training and social protection. This is much-needed, somewhat overdue and needs to be continued in future years.”
Democratic political parties forming a new coalition in the European Parliament to exclude the far-right “must put a renewed Social Contract for Europe at the heart of their programme including for the appointment of the new European Commission President and Commissioners” said Luca Visentini, re-elected General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
Leaders of Europe’s national trade unions today re-elected Luca Visentini as General Secretary and elected Laurent Berger as President of the European Trade Union Confederation.
They also adopted a new manifesto and action programme for 2019-23 for ‘A fairer Europe for workers’.
The ETUC Congress, meeting in Vienna, also elected
Trade unions are today – on the opening day of the European Parliamentary elections (voting opens in the Netherlands and the UK) – reminding all citizens that they should vote, and vote for candidates and parties that will work for a fairer Europe (not less Europe), democracy and social justice.
Trade union leaders are launching their call at the Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation, meeting today in Vienna and bringing together some 1,000 trade unionists from all over the European Union, the European Economic Area and EU candidate countries.
#ETUC19 Congress - Opening speech by Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary
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Dear comrades and friends,
Dear delegates and colleagues,
It’s a great pleasure to welcome all of you to the 14th Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation!
In a strong show of support for workers, civil servants and unions in central government, the Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation branded as unacceptable the attempts of the Commission to reject a social partner agreement.
Today, the opening day of ETUC Congress – the largest European gathering of national trade union leaders for four years – ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini will thank outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for rescuing ‘social Europe’, and discuss with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa the need for a renewed social contract for Europe.
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.”
Commenting on the widely leaked and reported Sibiu declaration, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation said:
“We can support all 10 principles, although they are very general and contain no concrete proposals for action. “The statement in support of European unity, democracy and rule of law is useful in these days of populist, strong-man and anti-European politics. It is a pity no mention is made of dialogue with social partners and civil society.
Over 8,000 trade unionists took part in a march and rally today in Brussels calling for ‘A fairer Europe for workers’ organised by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
The march gathered outside the European Parliament in Place Luxembourg and finished with a rally near the European Council and Commission in Avenue Auderghem, by Rond Point Schuman.
There will be a march and rally on Friday 26 April in Brussels for ‘A fairer Europe for workers’ called by the European Trade Union Confederation.
The march gathers outside the European Parliament in Place Luxembourg at 10.30 and concludes with a rally near the European Council and Commission in Avenue Auderghem (by Rond Point Schuman).
The march is to draw attention to the European elections, to call for a better and more social Europe, not less Europe – and for social progress, better pay and better working and living conditions.
Almost two hundred thousand people die every year in the European Union as a result of workplace diseases, illnesses and accidents.
The reality is much worse - there is massive under reporting by employers, and when a worker is killed by their work it harms whole families.
The ETUC is calling for the European Union – in particular the new European Parliament to be elected in May and the new European Commission to be appointed following the elections – to
The plenary of the European Parliament decided today by a very narrow majority not to have a vote on the report on the coordination of social security systems and therefore not to adopt a first reading position before the end of the term.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have expressed deep concern over a campaign of violence against the Greek national trade union GSEE, perpetrated by a minority Stalinist faction which is attempting to disrupt the GSEE’s work.
We are pleased to bring you the April 2019 issue of Workers’ Voice National UPdates, showing how trade unions are constantly taking new and innovative actions for social justice and progress in many European countries.
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The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) calls on the UN International Labour Organisation (ILO) – which marks its 100th anniversary in June – to redouble its efforts to ensure decent work in a global economy radically changed by free trade and deregulation, climate change and digitalisation.
With 16 million unemployed and 21.5 million in working poverty in the EU, the ETUC is working to persuade the ILO to adopt a bold and forward-looking Declaration at its centenary conference in June to deliver a decent future of work.
Tomorrow the European Commission launches a report by a High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI) giving recommendations to the EU on ethics for trustworthy AI.
Thiébaut Weber, Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, was the only trade union representative on the High-Level Group.
MEPs must vote for new rights for working parents and carers says the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
Today, April 4, the European Parliament will vote on the final deal for the Directive on Work/Life Balance – already agreed in ‘trilogue’ negotiations and subsequently by Council.
The Directive will bring new rights in many European countries including