ETUC Midterm Conference
Lisbon, 8-10 November 2021
Opening speech of Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary
[To be checked against delivery]
Dear colleagues, comrades, and friends,
Brussels, 1 December 2021
To the ETUC NETLEX members
To the members of the Labour and Internal Market Legislation Committee
To the members of the Fundamental Rights and Litigation Advisory Group
For information to the Member Organisations
We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at the 25th Netlex Conference whether in Paris or online.
For those participants attending virtually, please find the joining details for the Conference below:
Ireland’s Fórsa and SIPTU public service unions have supported the government’s ‘Blended Working Policy Statement,’ which provides for civil servants to move from remote working to longer-term hybrid arrangements between September 2021 and March 2022.
Both unions want to see the scheme applied across the public sector. They underlined the need for fair access to teleworking, as well as essential safeguards on working time, the right to disconnect, health and safety, privacy and data protection.
An innovative new collective agreement between Italian trade unions representing garment workers and the Benetton clothing company could set a precedent for negotiations with other major ‘Made in Italy’ clothing brands.
On 21 April 2021, the European Commission presented its long-awaited proposal on the regulation of artificial intelligence. The regulation is the follow-up to the 2020 White Paper process, in which the ETUC also participated. The proposed regulation builds on the internal market rules regulating the development and placement of products and services using AI in the EU single market. The regulation does not address liability. In this context, the Commission refers to the revision of the Product Liability Directive which is foreseen in the second half of the year.
ETUC welcomes the European Parliament’s interest in the right to disconnect. It is an important right for the quality and dignity of life of working people. It is a right that European employers’ organisations refuse to recognise and are trying to block.
The ETUC is calling on the S&D Group to withdraw the last-minute damaging amendment preventing legislative action on the right to disconnect for three years – which in reality means around eight years (given the length of the legislative process and coming-into-force period).
Brussels, 19 January 2021
Members of the European Parliament
Workers experience a lot difficulties securing the right to disconnect in reality and the ETUC and the ETUFs urge the Commission to come forth with a proposal for a Directive quickly.
Tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th January, amendments to the report on the right to disconnect will be tabled.
Working from home during the pandemic has meant extra costs for many people. In the Netherlands, the FNV trade union federation has made an additional homeworking allowance one of its demands in the current pay round.
In the latest collective agreement covering civil servants, trade unions have won a €363 annual payment for those who work at home. It is the first time that a specific payment for homeworking has been included in a statutory pay deal.
On 19 February 2020 the European Commission will announce its strategy for a Europe fit for the digital age.
The ETUC got reassurance from Commissioner Breton on 10 February that trade unions and workers’ representatives will be part of the solutions shaping a sustainable and socially acceptable digital transition within the EU industrial policy strategy, in particular via an inclusive governance structure.