Responding to the review of competition policy launched today by the European Commission, ETUC Confederal Secretary Isabelle Schömann said:
“A reform of the EU’s competition policy is badly needed. The current rules and approach to competition enforcement are increasing inequality by helping to further concentrate economic power into the hands of a few major companies while undermining collective bargaining and workplace democracy.
ETUC Midterm Conference
Lisbon, 8-10 November 2021
Opening speech of Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary
[To be checked against delivery]
Dear colleagues, comrades, and friends,
With women earning 14.1% less than men, ETUC is warning that equal pay cannot be achieved unless minimum wages are increased, and the value of work carried out by women is reassessed.
The warning comes for the EU’s Equal Pay Day on 10 November, just a day before the European Parliament’s Employment Committee votes on proposals to strengthen the proposed EU directive on Adequate Minimum Wages, and as the proposed EU directive on gender pay transparency is undergoing scrutiny by European Parliament committees.
Minimum wage workers in 11 EU member states spend at least 40% of their income on rent, new research shows ahead of a European Parliament vote on the issue.
People working full time are left with less than half of their wages to pay for food, heating and transport after rent in five countries. In a further six, rent accounts for between 41% and 48% of pay.
The ETUC expresses its solidarity with public sector workers in Slovakia and their union KOZ SR campaigning for a fair pay rise.
Hundreds of workers demonstrated outside the government’s headquarters on Wednesday as the second round of collective bargaining negotiations took place – not only to support their negotiators but protest against the dramatic reduction in living standards of other workers and citizens, particularly pensioners, amid increases in the price of food, electricity and housing due to inflation.
The ETUC is calling for investment and fair wages in the care sector after a new report revealed the sector has been hit by an exodus of workers since the pandemic.
Between 2019 and 2021 over 400,000 care workers left the sector, according to European Public Service Union EPSU.
On today’s Global Day of Action for Care, ETUC calls on the EU to:
Insist on investment in care
- through the ‘EU Care Strategy’ promised by President von der Leyen, and
My name is Luca Visentini and I speak here on behalf of trade unions from all over Europe.
The citizens’ panel have discussed and pushed forward an impressive and very ambitious set of proposals and demands, which together with the inputs posted in the online platform will enable us to make the future of Europe better and more inclusive.
I would like to mention just two of these ideas.
Commenting on the conclusions of the European Council, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“One of the key reasons families have been hit so hard by energy price rises is low wages, but that seems to be totally missing from the European Council debate. Even before this crisis, 9.5 million working people across Europe had difficulties paying their heating bills.
VTC Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment - Transforming Europe's recovery into long-term sustainable growth supporting more and better jobs
Opening speech of Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary (20 October 2021)
[To be checked against delivery]
Presidents von der Leyen, Michel, Janša,
Vice President, Commissioner, Ministers,
Colleagues from the Social Partners,
EUROPEAN COMMISSION WORK PROGRAMME 2022
Potentially positive initiatives include
Seriously bad gimmick includes
Protection of Workers from risks of exposure to asbestos at work
European Green Deal (on zero pollution, right to repair and plastics)
Media Freedom Act
Recommendation on Minimum Income
Responding to the relaunch of the review of EU economic governance, ETUC Confederal Secretary Liina Carr said:
“The EU’s fiscal rules failed in the past, have been abandoned in the present and are unfit for the future. This review is an important step towards a Europe that puts the people and planet before arbitrary and self-defeating debt targets.
Roma, 16 ottobre 2021
È un grandissimo onore per me, un italiano alla guida del sindacato europeo, esprimere a questa piazza straordinaria il sostegno di tutte le lavoratrici e i lavoratori d’Europa.
Oggi e durante questi ultimi giorni, tante manifestazioni di solidarietà si stanno svolgendo e si sono svolte in molte capitali europee.
Il movimento sindacale d’Europa è unito contro il vile attacco fascista che ha colpito la CGIL e tutto il sindacato italiano.
I would like to express to you the most sincere solidarity and full support of the European Trade Union Confederation for the shameful attack by right-wing extremists and No-Vax on the headquarters of the national CGIL yesterday.
As you rightly reminded us, trade unions, in Italy, in Europe and in the world, have always been the defenders of democracy, and it is no coincidence that the fascist and violent instrumentalisation of the anti-vaccine protests is directed against the trade union movement and CGIL in particular.
Commenting on the global tax deal involving 136 countries including all OECD and G20 countries for a 15% minimum corporate tax rate and taxing rights on USD 125 billion of profit , ETUC’s Liina Carr commented
The ETUC is calling on EU Finance Ministers to overturn their decision in 2017 not to define as tax havens, and not to impose sanctions on, countries that fail to disclose who owns companies registered in their country.
“EU Finance Ministers should do far more to reveal who is hiding money in tax havens” said Liina Carr, ETUC Confederal Secretary “instead of taking countries off the list of tax havens.”
Leading officials of the European trade union federations EFFAT, EPSU, IndustriAll Europe and UNI Europa as well as the ETUC met with the cabinet of European Commissioner Thierry Breton (Internal Market) on Thursday September 30th. The purpose was to present the trade unions' concerns regarding the announced initiatives on Sustainable Corporate Governance and mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence.
The European Commission today presented its Communication on the application of the Employers’ Sanctions Directive together with renewed Action Plan on smuggling and report on developments on the Pact on Migration and Asylum.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) welcome the publication of the evaluation of the Employers’ Sanctions Directive, which was long overdue, but remain extremely critical of the overall approach to addressing irregular migration.
The shock-waves from the Covid-19 pandemic continue to be felt by workers across Europe. In this autumn edition, our National Updates illustrate how workplace organisation is changing and adapting, and trade unions and their members are learning the lessons from the lockdown in order to improve health and safety and make conditions more work-life friendly through shorter or more flexible working time, teleworking and hybrid systems.
Victory in the German elections for a party pledging a 12 Euro minimum wage is a major boost to the campaign to end poverty pay across Europe by improving the EU’s directive on minimum wages.
Germany is currently among the two thirds of EU member states where the minimum wage is set below the EU’s at risk of poverty threshold (60% of the national median wage) as well as below 50% of the average wage.
At 9.60 Euro an hour, it is just 48% of the median wage and 43% of the average wage in Germany.
Low wages mean almost three million people can’t afford to heat their homes despite being in work, an analysis of EU data for the ETUC has found as energy prices rocket across Europe.
On the first day of autumn and with winter looming, 15% of Europe’s working poor won’t be able to turn on the heating – equivalent to 2,713,578 people across Europe.
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.