Commenting on the European Commission’s proposals for the Multiannual Financial Framework, European Trade Union Confederation Confederal Secretary Thiébaut Weber said:
“We cannot accept the proposal to cut cohesion funding – and therefore probably the European Social Fund – by 7%. This sends out an appalling signal to European citizens when the ink on the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) is not yet dry.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has issued an unprecedented ‘emergency alert’ that highlights countries and situations where the opportunity for working people in Europe to achieve decent wages and working conditions is under threat.
“At the heart of Europe is a social contract that offers working people the opportunity to get decent wages and working conditions” said Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ETUC. “But the foundation on which that social contract is built needs urgent repair and renovation.”
Today’s proposal by the European Commission to promote fairness and transparency for users of online marketplaces is a necessary step, but totally fails to protect workers who rely on online platforms for their livelihoods.
According to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the measure falls short by limiting regulation of unfair practices to shopping platforms offering goods and services, such as Amazon or eBay, and search engines.
Reacting to the European Commission’s proposals for new company law rules*, published today, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Deputy General Secretary Peter Scherrer said:
“The proposals on cross-border conversions show a welcome change of direction in EU company law, which until now has facilitated deregulation and regime shopping. The Commission aims to ensure that a company has genuine economic activity in the Member State where it wants to relocate its registered office. The proposed Directive therefore offers a basis for discussion.
Speech by Katja Lehto-Komulainen, ETUC Deputy General Secretary
Let me address three points on behalf of the European Trade Union Confederation.
The ETUC is proud to be part of the EMIN network – and bus tour - promoting adequate minimum income schemes throughout Europe.
- The right to an adequate minimum income is a key demand today: we need to ensure an acceptable and dignified standard of living for all.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) urges the European Commission to include in its forthcoming ‘European Company Law package’ binding measures to protect workers and end ‘regime shopping’ which allows companies in Europe to move their headquarters to another Member State where they pay less taxes and lower wages regardless of where their genuine economic activity take place.
Belgian and international trade unions have demanded the immediate release from prison of former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In a letter delivered to the Brazilian ambassador in Brussels, the CSC, the FGTB as well as the ITUC and the European Trade Union Confederation stated that Lula’s arbitrary imprisonment is a threat to democracy.
Trade unions in Asunción, Buenos Aires, Geneva, Jakarta, Lima, London and Rabat are also gathering at Brazilian embassies today, following protests in recent days in Madrid, Montevideo, Paris, Rome and Washington, D.C.
New figures calculated by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) show that wage increases in the European Union over the last 16 years would have been FOUR TIMES higher if they had fully reflected productivity increases.
It is standard economic theory that wage increases should follow productivity increases. But in Europe productivity has increased far more than wages.
From 2000 to 2016 productivity increased three times more than wages in Germany and Croatia, and two times more than wages in Poland and Belgium.
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. We focus once more on how European unions are working constructively, in different countries and at different levels, with other actors such as employers, governments and civil society organisations, to promote justice and social progress, and to improve the lives of workers.
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.