According to media reports the European Commission will today recommend that Albania and Macedonia start EU accession negotiations, and be critical about Turkey’s lack of progress towards EU fundamental human rights, justice and freedom of expression.
The European Trade Union Confederation
Today the European Council will approve a ‘European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships’.
This is largely based on proposals made by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) https://www.etuc.org/press/trade-union-contribution-quality-apprenticeships-europe in 2016 - the culmination of work by trade unions including through European ‘social dialogue’ with employers.
To be checked against delivery
Speech by Katja Lehto-Komulainen, ETUC Deputy General Secretary, at the Tripartite Social Summit
Brussels, 21 March 2018
Dear Minister, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The economy is recovering, indeed, but slowly, and major problems remain, especially in the ability of labour markets to provide enough high-quality employment to go around. The total hours worked in the EU are still below pre-crisis levels, and the average hours worked per employee are well below.
To be checked against delivery
Speech by Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary, at theTripartite Social Summit
Brussels, 21 March 2018
Prime Minister, Ministers, Presidents, Vice President, Commissioners, social partners,
We acknowledge that the economic situation and employment rates in Europe are improving.
Responding favourably to the European Commission’s proposal today for a 3% minimum tax on revenues of large digital companies such as the GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), the ETUC calls on the EU and all Member States to ensure that “digital value” is taxed where it is created.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) urges MEPs and EU Governments to support the compromise deal on the Posting of Workers Directive agreed last night in ‘trilogue’ negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council.
The ETUC is pleased to send you the new edition of the ‘Workers’ Voice – National UPdates’ newsletter, outlining a selection of recent trade union successes and innovations at both national and sectoral level.
This bulletin is published online four times a year.
Working people in 9 EU countries are earning less in 2017 than they did in 2010!
The countries are Italy, UK, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Finland, Croatia and Cyprus.
Working people in 6 of those countries – Italy, UK, Spain, Belgium, Greece and Finland – also earned less in 2017 than they did in 2016.
The figures are contained in a new report ‘Benchmarking Working Europe 2018’ published on Monday 19 March by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) – see below for details.
The EU and the UK Government should take up the proposal of the European Parliament for a future EU-UK relationship based on “a level playing field” including “social and workers’ rights”, says the European Trade Union Confederation.
In a resolution to be voted on today, the European Parliament says that membership of the internal market and the customs union is the only solution to guarantee “frictionless trade and fully preserve the benefits of our economic relations”.
The European Trade Union Confederation today welcomed the European Commission’s Social Fairness package.
ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said: “These initiatives should bring some real improvements for working people and ensure that the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights are implemented through binding measures that make a positive difference to people’s lives. It’s a step forward which the ETUC welcomes as far as it goes.
Commenting on the publication of the EU economic policy ‘semester’ winter package and country reports, Katja Lehto-Komulainen, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said:
For International Women’s Day, on March 8, trade unionists across Europe are calling for a swift adoption of the proposed EU Directive on work-life balance.
EU legislation in this field will strongly enhance women’s employment opportunities and enable a more equal take up of family-related leave by couples.
If adopted the new Directive will strengthen rights in many member states, according to a study* commissioned by the ETUC:
On Thursday 8 March EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will discuss Brexit with trade union leaders from all over Europe.
The trade union leaders – meeting at the European Trade Union Confederation Executive Committee (ETUC) - will adopt a statement calling for any Brexit deal to maintain EU standards for workers’ rights and to minimise disruption to trade between the EU and the UK.
The ETUC calls on MEPs and Governments to approve last night’s agreement on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, providing it offers full equal pay and protection for Europe’s posted workers.
“At last posted workers could have a guarantee of equal pay,” said Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary, “and better protection. For some of Europe's 2 million posted workers it offers the prospect of a long overdue pay rise.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has calculated that if the proportion of GDP made up by wages were the same as in the early 1990s working people in the EU would have earned an extra €1764 in 2017 alone!
The proportion of GDP made up by wages has been in decline since the mid-1970s. Wages made up 72% of EU GDP in 1975, and in 2017 made up less than 63%.
Calculating wages lost from a ‘wage share’ set at a very moderate 66% (the level it reached in the EU in the early 1990s) would give all workers in the EU an extra €1764 in 2017 alone.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) are calling on the European Commission to take up concerns about Kazakhstan's violations of freedom of association during a meeting of the EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Council meeting on 26 February.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) calls on the European Commission to withdraw its recommendation to restrict the right to strike of air traffic control staff.
“The right to strike is a fundamental right” said Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary, “and the European Commission has no right to undermine it.
“The European Commission is acting contrary to the EU Treaty, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the European Pillar Social Rights.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) today called on EU leaders to support a budget for working people and not only increases in defence, security and external border control spending.
EU Heads of State & Government meet on Friday to discuss political priorities for the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) after 2020.
The ETUC urges EU Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chancellors to look beyond the “narrow set” of European Commission “options” presented in their Communication on a “New and Modern” MFF last week.
A ground-breaking agreement between German trade union IG Metall and employers in the region of Baden-Württemburg sets a precedent likely to be followed across Germany, and gives a positive example for the whole of Europe.
The agreement includes a 4.3 % pay rise from April 2018, plus much greater flexibility including reduced working time to 28 hours for those who want or need it, and a choice for workers (with children still in education or caring for dependent parents) of an additional pay rise in 2019 or extra paid days off.
Commenting on the EU's guidelines for negotiating the Brexit transition arrangements*, adopted today by the General Affairs Council, ETUC Confederal Secretary Esther Lynch said
"It is in the interests of working people in the EU – including the UK - for the UK to stay in the single market and customs union until a new relationship is agreed.
"It is clear this means following all EU law, to guarantee a level playing field especially on workers’ rights, and paying into the budget.
During the four days that Chief Executive Officers from European companies attend the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, they will earn more than most people get in 18 months to two years.
According to figures on CEO pay-to-average-income from business news agency Bloomberg, in four days at Davos, CEOs
Commenting on the overturning of the sentence on LuxLeaks whistleblower Antoine Deltour by a Luxembourg Court, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) called for better and EU-wide protection of whistleblowers.
“People should be able to expose wrong-doing without fear of retribution,” said Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary. “It is good that Antoine Deltour has had his sentence overturned, but he should not have been prosecuted in the first place.