Brussels, 03/06/2009

To prevent and control a situation of mass unemployment, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is calling for a different and broader approach.

- To address the lack of demand dynamics and get the economy back moving again, Europe needs an expanded and sustained recovery programme: Europe needs to invest annually 1% of GDP in the coming three years in the ‘greening of the economy’ .

- To correct for the fact that Europe’s workers are very flexible but not at all secure, we need policies to secure the labour market. In a context of mass unemployment, this implies direct creation of good and stable jobs in social services of general interest, increased support for ‘job sharing’ policies as well as a strengthening and extension of unemployment benefits systems, in particular for precarious workers.

Says John Monks, ETUC General Secretary: ‘Lack of demand is the key problem our economies are facing. Providing business with yet another hand out in the form of lowering non wage costs will not help to address this problem. Instead, it will trigger competitive cost cutting strategies while undermining the revenue basis of the social security systems we so urgently need in this time of crisis ’.