Commenting on the ‘country specific reports’ issued by the European Commission today, ETUC Deputy General Secretary Katja Lehto Komulainen said
“It is progress that the European Commission is calling for more public investment and higher wages in some countries including Germany. It is very damaging for the Commission to be pressing again for yet more austerity and budget cuts in other countries, and to limit pay rises and increased public investment to countries with budget surpluses is a real missed opportunity.
EU economic policy-making – known as the ‘European Semester’ - comes to a climax with the annual ‘Country Specific Recommendations’ which are due to be published today by the European Commission.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) supports the emphasis placed this year by the European Commission on tackling inequality, and expects the ‘Country Specific Recommendations’ to feature concrete proposals to do so.
In particular, the ETUC expects the European Commission draft Country Specific Recommendations to
Commenting on the European Commission’s ‘Reflection Paper on Globalisation’, ETUC Confederal Secretary Liina Carr said:
“It has taken a long time for the European Commission to acknowledge that globalisation has to be fairer. Better late than never! Trade unions have long been calling for a fairer distribution of the benefits of globalisation, and finally we see this confirmed in the Commission’s Reflection Paper on Harnessing Globalisation.
Wage inequality between pay in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and pay in Germany, is bigger today than it was in 2008.
According to figures in a Working Paper ‘Why central and eastern Europe needs a pay rise’, published today by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and written by Bela Galgoczi:
Public Hearing ECON/EP 3 May 2017
Speech by Katja Lehto-Komulainen Deputy General Secretary ETUC
Mr. Chairperson, Members of the Committee, Ladies and Gentlemen,
There are two main fields where the current European Commission promised to deliver and which our trade union members are very interested in:
social field and
Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, writes
May 1 is our day. It is the day we celebrate the achievements of working people, labour, and their trade unions.
Only through trade unions will working people get justice and a fair deal. Strong unions mean effective collective bargaining. Collective bargaining - reaching a fair deal with employers - brings better wages and working conditions for everyone, and reduces the gender pay gap.
Everyone’s health and safety at work matters – for workers, his or her family and loved ones, and for employers.
With over 168,000 people dying every year from work-related accidents and diseases, and over 3 million reported accidents at work (those resulting in at least four days’ absence from work), health and safety at work is a very serious issue for everyone.
But some workers and risks are still overlooked when it comes to health and safety. Consider the facts
Commenting on the package for a ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ published today by the European Commission, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said:
“People are fed up with worsening living and working conditions, and for that reason the ETUC wants a strong European Pillar of Social Rights. It’s time for the EU to show that it cares about its citizens. The pillar includes proposals which are long overdue.
Commenting on BusinessEurope’s ill-founded criticisms of the forthcoming European Pillar of Social Rights, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation said
“We strongly support the initiative of the Commission to give workers an improved right to paid parental leave.
Every spring, Forbes magazine releases a list of the world’s billionaires – a list that has been growing almost every year of this decade.
The 2017 list features 445 billionaires from the countries of the EU. Their combined net worth, according to the magazine, is over €1.3 trillion.
The ETUC expressed its sadness at news of an incident in Stockholm in which a lorry has driven into people on a street in the centre of the city.
The General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, Luca Visentini, said “I am shocked that we have another vehicle assault on randomly selected pedestrians. My thoughts are with the victims and their families, and with the emergency service workers dealing with the incident.”
Participation in the new European Solidarity Corps must be clearly distinguished from the long-term employment of young people, insists the ETUC Youth Committee, in advance of today’s decision in the European Parliament, and a stakeholder forum on 12 April.
MEPs vote on a resolution aimed at strengthening the European Solidarity Corps (ESC), while warning against blurring the distinction between volunteering and quality jobs for young people. The ETUC welcomes and supports this approach.
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) today launched a report on youth unemployment pointing out the little progress made by the EU Youth Guarantee and the insufficient contribution of the Youth Employment Initiative in the Member States visited.
ETUC agrees with many findings and recommendations of the report
The European Trade Union Confederation sends its solidarity and condolences to the victims of the St Petersburg terrorist attack and the people of St Petersburg.
"I am shocked and saddened by the news of the terrorist attacks in the metro of St Petersburg,” said ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini. “Unfortunately, it is not the first time that the citizens of this beautiful city have suffered from such a tragedy. My thoughts and sympathies are with the victims, their families and with the Russian people. Nothing can justify such acts of barbarism."
Responding to the draft negotiating guidelines published today, the ETUC pointed out that while the guidelines state that citizens’ rights will be a priority for negotiations, the EU continues to insist that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
The International and European Trade Union Confederations called on the International Monetary Fund to stop insisting that Greece undertake even more pension cuts and labour market deregulation before the Fund will agree to a new loan programme, or to signing off on disbursements by European institutions.
The ETUC is calling on EU representatives to defend trade union rights when they meet members of the Kazakhstan government in Astana today.
In a letter to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ITUC), condemn the arrest and interrogation of trade unionists and moves to deregister trade unions in Kazakhstan. The International Labour Organization has repeatedly urged Kazakh ministers to repeal the law that restricts union activities.
With the UK Government expected to trigger article 50 this week, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has called on EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier to ensure “a social and economic agreement that protects jobs, living standards and workers’ rights, and not a free trade deal built on a platform of lower pay, tax and standards.”
The ETUC called for
Commenting on 'The Rome Declaration', in which 27 EU member States "pledge to work towards ... a social Europe ... which ...promotes economic and social progress as well as cohesion and convergence...equality between women and men...rights and equal opportunities for all; ...which fights unemployment, discrimination, social exclusion and poverty" and refers to the "key role of social partners", Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), who was present at the signing, said:
Today, on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, and the day before an informal EU summit to celebrate the anniversary and reflect on the current state and future of the EU, the European Trade Union Confederation
The European Trade Union Confederation published today its plan for a European Public Treasury.
The ETUC’s proposal would be a way to insure a minimum level of public investment in all Member States. The European Commission has called for a fiscal expansion of up to 0.5% of GDP in 2017 across the euro area on the whole, but this is not compatible with the Stability and Growth pact.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem has to resign as President of the Eurogroup says ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini.
“His insults about countries spending money on women and drink are bad enough,” said Visentini, “he has to resign immediately as Eurogroup President.
“Europe needs a more open-minded Eurogroup President who could build consensus among Ministers to deliver what Europe desperately needs – a way to increase public investment, to reform the Growth and Stability Pact, and to boost demand through pay rises in the public and private sector.