09.06.2023 Speech

Putting the money where the Decent Work is - Speech by Esther Lynch at #ILC2023

Putting the money where the Decent Work is Speech Esther Lynch, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation [Check against delivery]   Director General, Distinguished Delegates, It is a great honour to represent 54m workers and their trade unions around Europe. We come here to the ILC seeking justice and respect. Respect for every worker, men and women in all our diversity.
02.06.2023 Press release

Ukraine used as excuse to bypass working time rules

ETUC and IndustriAll Europe are disappointed that the European Parliament adopted on 1 June the Act in Support of Ammunition Production without amendments. The regulation, as originally proposed, would allow the diversion of funds initially intended for cohesion and recovery towards the defence sector as well as encouraging the use of greater flexibility around working time rules. Trade unions express grave concern about the precedent that is being set.
01.06.2023 Press release

EU human rights due diligence law still needs improvement

The European Parliament has today voted to make EU businesses accountable for their conduct – but stronger measures will be needed to prevent unions and workers’ rights violations. The vote of the Parliament’s report on the proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive represents an important step forward in putting people and planet before the profits at all costs, and making businesses accountable.
  • 26.05.2023 Press release

    Youngest ever ETUC leadership team elected

    The European Trade Union Confederation’s congress, where trade union renewal was a central theme, concluded today with the election of a new leadership team which is gender-balanced and the youngest in the history of the organisation. Irish trade unionist Esther Lynch, who first became involved in the labour movement while working in a micro-chip factory in the 1980s, will lead the team over the next four years as General Secretary. 
  • 25.05.2023 Press release

    Von der Leyen adds ‘missing piece’ to equal pay puzzle

    Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at ETUC Congress
    More than 45 years after the EU made equal pay the law, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today joined with trade unions to ensure it is finally made a reality for women workers. President von der Leyen spoke at the congress of the European Trade Union Confederation in Berlin, where more than half of delegates are women, and ETUC General Secretary Esther Lynch called for the full and fast implementation at national level of the Pay Transparency Directive.
  • 24.05.2023 Press release

    EU Rules Require €45 Billion In Spending Cuts Next Year

     Spending reductions forced on 14 member states in 2024 equivalent to losing enough to fund 1 million nurses or teachers  The amount of money countries will be forced to cut from national budgets next year to meet new EU austerity rules would pay for over 1 million nurses or 1.5 million teachers, new research by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has found. Under the European Commission’s proposal for new economic rules, EU member states with a deficit above 3% of GDP will have to reduce their budget deficit by a minimum of 0.5% of GDP.
  • 23.05.2023 Press release

    Wages 9% lower in sectors with labour shortages

    Employers need to offer better-paid jobs to end Europe’s damaging labour shortage, according to new research published by the European Confederation of Trade Unions (ETUC) today (Tuesday).
  • 19.05.2023 Press release

    Study: EU competition policies ignore workers

    The failure of EU competition enforcers to assess and address the impact of growing corporate power on workers is contributing to lower employment, wages and working conditions, a new expert report for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) shows.
  • 17.05.2023 Press release

    Growth at any costs only works for world’s richest: Unions central to success of beyond-growth alternative  

    Speech by ETUC General Secretary Esther Lynch at todaysà closing plenary of the Beyond Growth conference at the European Parliament in Brussels:  Thank you for inviting the ETUC to be part of these discussions. We represent 50 million workers and their trade unions thoughout Europe. We welcome the opportunity to be part of this conference that has discussed transformative solutions.
  • 17.05.2023 Press release

    Improving Europe’s defence capabilities while respecting workers’ rights

    The ETUC and industriAll Europe are concerned about the draft Regulation on the Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) published on 3 May 2002. The draft regulation aims to strengthen the responsiveness and capacity of the Union's defence industry for the security of the EU and for continued efforts to support Ukraine. Worryingly, it also allows companies to derogate from existing rules that protect workers.
  • 15.05.2023 Press release

    Schmit tells bosses: Protect workers from extreme heat

    The European Commission has today taken its first steps to protect workers from extreme heat following a campaign by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). At an EU summit on occupational health and safety in Stockholm, EU Commissioner for Social Rights Nicolas Schmit announced new guidance on employers’ responsibility to people working in high temperatures.
  • 11.05.2023 Press release

    MEPs leave workers’ rights loophole in AI Act

    The European Parliament has today improved the Artificial Intelligence Act, but opened-up a loophole which will leave workers’ safety and fundamental rights at risk. The Artificial Intelligence Act proposed by the European Commission only requires manufacturers to rank their own technology between low and high risk before putting it on the market and did not include any rules on the use of AI in the workplace. The report adopted by Parliament’s committees on Legal Affairs and Internal Market and Consumer Protection made important improvements, including:
  • 08.05.2023 Press release

    Interns should be paid at least minimum wage, say MEPs

    Ban unpaid internships logo
    The European Parliament’s employment and social affairs committee (EMPL) today adopted a report on quality traineeships that sets binding standards for the protection of the rights of trainees across the EU. The report, which was adopted with an overwhelming majority, recognises the important role that traineeships play in facilitating the transition from education to work and proposes measures to minimise the risks of exploitative and low-quality traineeships.
  • 04.05.2023 Press release

    Rates hikes won’t stop profit-driven inflation

    The European Central Bank (ECB) has today announced a seventh consecutive hike in interest rates. European Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Esther Lynch said: "There is a mismatch between what the ECB believes is going on and what is actually going on. The ECB has once again hit the wrong target. 
  • 26.04.2023 Press release

    New EU economic rules bring back risk of austerity

    The reform of the EU’s economic rules proposed today by the European Commission will allow the return of austerity and prevent climate action, unless changes are made between now and December. The current rules, which limit member state budget deficits to 3% of GDP and debt to 60% of GDP, have been suspended since 2020 to deal with economic consequences of the pandemic.
  • 25.04.2023 Press release

    MEPs back business accountability 10 years after Rana Plaza disaster

    The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) Committee today voted for amendments to the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence that would improve the conduct of European companies and hold them accountable for violations of human rights.
  • 19.04.2023 Press release

    Fit for 55: Workers can’t wait any longer for Just Transition rights

    This week the European Parliament voted to adopt the political deals at the heart of the ‘Fit for 55’ package. Including the revision and extension of the Emissions Trading Scheme and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. IndustriAll Europe, and the ETUC reiterate their demand that the industrial and social changes that ambitious climate targets must be accompanied by new rights for European workers to anticipate and manage changes to guarantee a Just Transition for every worker in every region of Europe.
  • 06.04.2023 Press release

    Study: Low pay causing labour shortages

    Europe’s record labour shortages are being driven by low wages and working conditions, new research shows. The job vacancy rate in Europe is currently at a record high and more than a quarter of EU businesses reported production problems as a result of labour shortages last year. EU leaders and business representatives have blamed the shortage solely on a skills gap among European workers. Equipping more workers with the skills needed to work in the industries of the future is a crucial part of a socially just transition to a green economy.