The European Parliament has now recognised the need for a ‘right to disconnect’ and called for EU action to make that right a reality for working people in the EU.
ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch said “We now expect the European Commission to come forward with legislation so that working people can enforce their right to disconnect from work outside working hours.
Women doing jobs requiring the same levels of skills, education and physical effort as jobs done by men are still being paid less despite over 45 years of EU equal pay legislation.
A comparison of wages in the manufacturing sector found that women producing white goods are paid significantly less than men making cars even though both jobs require the same competencies.
In Germany, women in the white goods sector doing manufacturing jobs of equal value to men in the car industry are paid on average €865 per month less (gross).
Three rulings in three countries on the rights of delivery riders shows why EU action is needed to end the scandal of platforms not accepting their responsibilities as employers.
A court in Spain found over 700 Deliveroo workers were falsely self-employed, an Italian court found the platform discriminated against riders who take sick leave and the Belgian government found Uber’s working conditions were incompatible with self-employment.
Reacting to the Financial Times report on UK Government plans to diverge from the Working Time Directive, ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch said:
“This is the first major test of the Brexit deal.
“The reported plans would be in clear breach of level playing field rules and the EU must prepare to take swift action and retaliatory measures if necessary.
In view of the upcoming Plenary session of the European Parliament, the ETUC is part of a coalition of 36 civil society organisations (CSOs) which have launched a Joint Appeal to the European Institutions calling for the inclusion of enforceable human rights clauses in the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI).
Commenting on the EU-UK deal Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary said “There is no form of Brexit that will improve the lives of working people.“
“Although President von der Leyen says fair competition and a level playing field are ensured, it would mean very little if long-drawn out arbitration was the main way to deal with disputes.
“The length and complexity of the deal raises serious questions about the time available for Member States and the European Parliament to scrutinise it in the detail necessary.”
Almost a quarter of member states provided little or no income support for self-employed or precarious workers during the Covid crisis – despite the EU making funds available for such support.
Income and job support measures, delivered with the help of the EU’s €100 million SURE scheme, supported 42 million workers at the height of the crisis in May.
At today's EU Council meeting, member states agreed to revise the EU’s 2030 climate targets to at least -55% reduction of GHG emissions compared to 1990.
Responding to the development, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:
The number of people considered to be ‘working poor’ has increased in the majority of member states over the last decade, reveals a major new report on Europe’s economy to be launched today.
An analysis of Eurostat data found that the percentage of workers at-risk-of-poverty increased in 16 member states between 2010 and 2019 despite the economy improving during that period.
Hungary, the UK, Estonia, Italy and Luxembourg suffered the biggest rises, with their in-work at risk-of-poverty rate increasing by between 58% and 27%.
Responding to today’s launch of the European Climate Pact, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:
“Workers are on the frontline of changes in the economy needed to protect the environment and they need to be formally involved in the design and delivery of the European Green Deal.
"Any initiative to help build awareness of the need for climate action and engage citizens and workers in the process is welcome.
MATICA joins European Trade Union Confederation
ETUC today approved the membership application of the Association of Croatian Trade Unions MATICA.
MATICA’s application was fully supported by existing Croatian ETUC members UATUC and NHS, and agreed today by the ETUC Executive Committee.
MATICA has 55,000 members, mainly in the public sector, and was founded in 1993.
ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said “We warmly welcome MATICA to the European trade union movement.
The European Commission will publish its Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts on Tuesday 14 December.
The ETUC, while conscious that the Acts do not touch directly upon the (lack of) rights of platform workers, believe the Acts will better define the legal liability of online platform companies like Facebook and Amazon - which the ETUC believes is urgently required fully justified, and has given them an unfair advantage over other businesses.
In particular, the ETUC will be looking at the Acts to see if they
Facebook’s founder and CEO will still sleep soundly tonight after the European Commission took only tentative steps towards stronger regulation of social media platforms in its Democracy Action Plan published today.
The dominant market position of the digital giants, and business models that benefit from spreading content regardless of its veracity, seem to be disturbed only a little by the Plan.
Instead, the Commission commits to
Responding to the new European Commission strategy on strengthening the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, ETUC Confederal Secretary Isabelle Schömann said:
“As human rights defenders, trade unions are key parties in the Charter’s enforcement chain.
Trade unions are urging Ursula von der Leyen to name the date for a pay transparency directive as the Commission President marks a year in office without delivering her “100 day” promise to women.
President von der Leyen took office on December 1 last year on a pledge to “table measures to introduce binding pay transparency measures” within “the first 100 days of my mandate” in order to tackle the EU’s 15% gender pay gap.
Speech delivered by Luca Visentini at Osnabrück Declaration event on Vocational Education and Training
Ministers, Commissioner, colleagues from the social partners.
I am glad that together we came up with the Osnabrück Declaration. I particularly thank the German Presidency for having brokered this agreement.
ETUC appreciates that this declaration addresses VET in a broad manner, covering both initial and continuous learning. Also, that it acknowledges the particular challenges that students, workers and the unemployed face in relation to skills development.
Europe risks starting the new year with an explosion of unemployment as schemes needed to save jobs from the Covid crisis could close in seven member states, new ETUC research shows.
National governments, with the support of the EU’s SURE scheme, saved 42 million jobs at the height of the pandemic through “short-time work” schemes that subsidised a proportion of workers’ wages in order to avoid mass redundancies.
Laws against workplace harassment must be updated to protect women working from home against online abuse made possible by surveillance techniques being used by employers.
Trade unions have made the call in a letter sent to national ministers on the international day for the elimination of violence against women and girls.
Women working on the Covid frontline, particularly carers, transport workers, shop assistants and cleaners, have faced increased face-to-face abuse during the crisis.
Tomorrow (Thursday 26 November) the ETUC and the European Trade Union Federations* present a petition of more than 2,594 worker representatives and trade union leaders to members of the European Parliament”. The petition calls on the Commission to “start infringement proceedings where necessary” and “European governments to put forward concrete actions to ensure that workers’ information and consultation rights at work are respected”.
Commenting on the integration action plan published today by the European Commission, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:
“At a time when some politicians choose to fan the flames of cultural division, it is important that the Commission has instead made concrete issues like migrants’ access to the labour market, education and training the priority of their integration and inclusion plan.
The European Commission has today published its annual employment report as part of the Autumn Package which shows that the EU suffered the ‘sharpest decline ever’ in employment over any two quarters.
Commenting on the Autumn Package published today by the European Commission, ETUC Confederal Secretary Liina Carr said:
“Today’s report shows European workers are suffering the ‘sharpest decline ever’ in employment over any six month period as a result of the Covid crisis.
Ahead of the video conference of the members of the European Council on 19 November 2020, the European social partners urge member states to endorse the agreement found on the European recovery fund and Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027.
The agreement found as a result of the trilogue on the recovery fund and the so-called MFF (the EU's long-term budget) is essential to help the EU economy recover from the damage the COVID crisis continues to inflict.