European trade unions are backing the European Parliament’s call on the Commission to ban unpaid internships and invest in quality jobs for young people amid soaring youth unemployment.
The proposal is part of a Parliament resolution passed today aimed at improving the European Commission’s weak proposal for a Reinforced Youth Guarantee.
The EU’s gender pay gap won’t be eliminated until the next century at the current pace of change, ETUC research shows amid a delay in promised European Commission action to end the scandal.
Eurostat data shows the EU gender pay gap has closed by 1% over the last eight years, which means women will be waiting for another 84 years to achieve equal pay if current trends continue.
Without binding pay equality measures to change the current trends, the ETUC also found:
Responding to the conclusion of the European Council, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“The dependence on imports which caused shortages of PPE and medical supplies during the Covid crisis showed just how important it is that Europe develops more strategic autonomy.
“But EU leaders can’t achieve that aim without strong domestic industries, which were already struggling against unfair global competition and have now been pushed towards major cuts and redundancies by Covid.
The European Trade Union Confederation is calling on national governments to maintain emergency job protection measures as EU unemployment rose for the sixth month in a row.
According to Eurostat official figures published today, 238,000 more people became permanently unemployed between July and August.
That means the number of permanent job losses since lockdown began in March is over 1.7 million, taking total EU unemployment to 15.6 million.
The overall unemployment rate has increased from 6.4% to 7.4% since March, and from 14.5% to 17.6% among young people.
Commenting on the European Commission’s Rule of Law report ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said
“The European Union is supposed to be a union of democratic countries where the rule of law is supreme – yet the rule of law is being undermined in a number of countries, and firm action is needed to re-establish it.
Responding to the launch of the European Commission’s new Pact for Migration and Asylum, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:
“Trade unions know the meaning of solidarity and this is not it. Fortress Europe looks stronger than ever.
Trade unions welcome action by the European Commission today to protect over 1.1 million people from work-related cancer by putting binding exposure limits on three dangerous substances.
The Commission has proposed Binding Occupational Exposure Limit Values (BOELs) on Acrylonitrile, Nickel compounds and Benzene as part of an update to its Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD).
The European Commission’s Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, published on Thursday, provides few clues as to how it intends to deliver greater social fairness that it commits to in its €750bn Recovery and Resilience Plan, warns the ETUC.
The Survey is supposed to show the next steps for the EU’s recovery, but does not reveal the next steps for social fairness and just transition.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) supports the European Commission’s proposal for a new -55% GHG emission reduction target, but the plan to achieve it published today overlooks the just transition needed to make the change fair for workers.
Commenting on the 2030 Climate Target Plan, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:
Responding to the State of the Union speech, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“Ursula von der Leyen perfectly described Europe’s low pay problem today without clearly committing to the solutions: ending minimum wages below the poverty threshold and the right to collective bargaining for all.
“The Commission president said she is a ‘strong advocate’ of collective bargaining. But we need to hear her plans for concrete action that will help the 76 million workers currently excluded from collective bargaining achieve genuinely fair wages too.
Ursula von der Leyen has taken an important step towards securing trade union support for her plans on minimum wages today with a pledge in the Swedish media to protect and promote collective bargaining.
The European Commission president said that the EU will “never” impose a statutory minimum wage on the six member states which set wages exclusively through collective bargaining – Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden.
Wage levels in Europe are tied closely to whether workers are covered by collective bargaining, official figures show.
In nine of the ten EU member states with the lowest average wages and minimum wages, just 7% to 30% of employees benefit from a wage level negotiated by trade unions.
Commenting on the European Commission’s first Strategic Foresight Report, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said
“ETUC supports any policy initiative that helps to manage change in a sustainable, fair and democratic way.
“A longer-term perspective is useful, especially if it leads to new policies consistently contributing to a fairer and more inclusive society.
"A shift from the current GDP-based narrative of measuring progress towards a more well-being centred one would be welcomed by the ETUC as this has been a long-standing demand.
The overwhelming majority of European trade unions representing 45 million workers have voted in favour of a new EU law to support fair minimum wages and collective bargaining.
Following a full and open debate, members of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) endorsed a call for a European Directive with 85% of the votes in favour.
87 national unions from all over Europe took part in the vote, plus 10 European sectoral trade unions.
The European Trade Union Confederation is calling on national governments to keep emergency job protection measures in place after EU unemployment rose for the fifth month in a row.
Despite an easing of lockdown measures, 336,000 more people became permanently unemployed between June and July, official figures published today by Eurostat show.
Trade unions are calling on EU foreign ministers to defend the fundamental right to strike as workers joining walkouts in Belarus face violence and arrest.
A meeting of ministers in Berlin tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss sanctions on the Belarusian regime comes as members of the country’s independent trade unions risk their lives to defend democracy.
At least three trade union leaders* have been arrested while rank and file members face threats of dismissal or pay cuts for exercising their right to strike.
Commenting on the special EU video summit on Belarus Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), said
“The words of the EU leaders on Belarus were strong and I hope they send a clear and powerful message to Lukashenko. It remains to be seen what the targeted sanctions will be and whether they will be as hard-hitting as the words spoken suggest. The EU needs to follow up with decisive action including sanctions that hit Lukashenko and his cronies very hard.”
The European trade union movement, in a letter today to Presidents von der Leyen, Michel and Sassoli, urges the European Union to EU relations with Belarus including “the reintroduction of commensurate sanctions for electoral fraud and violence.”
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) wrote a letter today to the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission to ask for urgent meetings with the aim to discuss how to reinforce the social partners’ involvement in the design, governance and implementation of MFF and Recovery Plan, at both European and national levels. ETUC also insists on ensuring that respect of social dialogue, collective bargaining and workplace democracy are binding conditions for funding.
Two million Europeans working abroad will begin benefiting from better pay and conditions from today as the revised posted workers directive comes into force.
The revision, once transposed into national law by member states, enshrines the principle that people doing the same work in the same place must receive the same wage.
It should also oblige employers to cover the cost of travel, board and accommodation of posted workers.
The OECD have backed trade unions’ calls for the EU to extend collective bargaining coverage to close the gender pay gap, especially for women who worked on the frontline of the Covid crisis.
In a new report, the OECD said “women in temporary and part-time jobs face substantial gender wage gaps”, citing the example of essential workers like carers and cleaners.