Another summer of deadly heatwaves shows why Europe badly needs a law on maximum working temperatures to protect workers from the effects of climate change.
Trade unions are urging the European Commission to take action after two workers collapsed and died after suffering heat stroke in Spain last week. In France, which does not have a maximum working temperature, 12 people died from heat-related work accidents in France in 2020.
Similar tragedies will become more common without legalisation on safe working temperatures.
The European Commission presented today its plan to reduce European gas demand by 15% from 1 August to 31 March 2023.
ETUC agrees that reducing energy consumption and encouraging energy savings is the most effective short term answer to the current emergency. Anticipating the challenges ahead and increasing coordination between Member States is also positive.
While the Ukrainian people bravely resist the Russian invasion and help displaced people, the Ukrainian Government and Parliament are using the war as an excuse to attack workers’ rights and unions – in blatant contradiction of the country’s aspirations to join the EU.
European trade unions support the opening of EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.
Liina Carr, ETUC Confederal Secretary, said “Albania and North Macedonia need to join the EU to secure workers’ rights, a brighter economic future and safeguard democracy. At the same time the EU needs to reassure the people of the western Balkans that there really is a place for them under the democratic and social umbrella of the social market economy of the EU.
More than 38 million people in Europe can’t afford a week’s holiday despite being in work, research for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has found.
The cost-of-living crisis is adding pressure on working people, with increasing numbers reporting a struggle to make ends meet and putting holidays even further out of reach.
The share of the total population who could not afford a holiday has increased in over half of EU member states since 2019 and even the share of working people who can’t afford one has increased in 11 countries.
The European Commission has supported the view of trade unions that it is price rises, particularly for energy, that are the primary driver of inflation rather than wages.
In its summer economic forecast, the Commission says both that “surging prices of energy remain the main inflation driver” and “a persistent feedback loop between wages and inflation is unlikely to develop” as real terms wage growth remained negative.
Trade unions are calling for the European Parliament to investigate Uber’s anti-worker lobbying of the EU following the Uber Files leak, which comes amid the company’s efforts to weaken a directive on platform working conditions.
The documents reveal that Uber have held 12 meetings with the European Commission which were not previously disclosed and that a former European Commission vice-president with responsibility for digital policy, Neelie Kroes, secretly lobbied on Uber’s behalf.
The European Parliament will call on the Commission to propose legislative action for the prevention of psychosocial risks this week, for the second time in just four months.
In the midst of Europe’s mental health crisis, with 60% of all working days lost to psychosocial risks, the report, Mental Health in the Digital World of Work is set to be unanimously adopted by MEPs.
Major European companies have today been named and shamed for violating human rights in other parts of the world, highlighting the need for stronger EU action on corporate responsibility.
Nestle, AB InBev and H&M are among companies headquartered in Europe whose behaviour around the world has been placed under the spotlight in the newly published ITUC Global Rights Index 2022.
“Companies are not being held to account and have, in too many cases, lost a moral compass,” according to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) which compiled the report.
European trade unions and employers will tomorrow sign a work programme, including to negotiate a legally binding agreement on ‘Telework and right to disconnect’.
ETUC, BusinessEurope, SGI Europe and SMEunited will sign the Work Programme in the presence of European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis in a ceremony at 15.30-45 on Tuesday 28 June at 5 Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 1210 Brussels.
The Work Programme 2022-24 consists of 6 joint actions:
Commenting on the conclusions of the European Council, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“The Council has failed to grasp the urgency of the situation facing working people across Europe, with conclusions that don’t meet the social and economic consequences of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
The European Commission today published a disappointing response to the proposals of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
While the Commission displays openness to consider treaty changes and to play fully its role in the process to convene a Convention to change the Treaties, the response fails to focus on the necessary actions to ensure social progress and improvement in living and working conditions for the future of Europe – as requested by the Conference.
Welcome to the latest edition of National UPdates. In this issue we highlight the way national trade unions are working in numerous areas to improve the lives and conditions of workers and their families. They range from defending the rights of LGBT+ people, protecting mental health and combatting the gender pay gap, to measures to improve pay, save jobs and expand flexibility for workers in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
European governments have today voted to make workplace safety a fundamental right worldwide despite a dozen not having ratified the international convention on health and safety at work – almost 40 years after it was launched.
The European Trade Union Confederation condemns the "authoritarian" dismissal of judges in Tunisia and sends its full support for a week-long strike in defence of fundamental rights in the country.
In a new threat to freedoms and rights, the Tunisian president has issued a decree to dismiss 57 judges outside the framework regulating the work of the judiciary system. In response, the Tunisian judges bar have announced a public strike until June 16. The President has instructed the Minister of Justice to consider the strike days unpaid.
Europe is a step closer to delivering fairer pay after a provisional agreement on the Adequate Minimum Wages directive between negotiators from the European Parliament, Council and Commission.
But there are still further hurdles for the directive to clear before working people can celebrate, most notably the EPSCO meeting of national employment ministers next Friday and the European Parliament’s plenary.
Commenting on the oil sanctions agreed as part of the EU's sixth sanctions package on Russia, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“Oil is one of the main resources for financing the Russian war machine and its inclusion in sanctions is long overdue. Although the exception for oil delivered by pipeline, even if temporary, is regrettable given the grave situation in Ukraine.
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
Thank you all for being with us. It's great to see you in person and to organize this exchange at an important moment in the Directive's agenda to improve the working conditions of platform workers.