02.02.2023 Press release

Green industry plan hands CEOs blank cheque

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The European Commission yesterday presented a Communication on A Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age but has written a blank cheque by failing to put social conditions on billions of Euros worth of subsidies for European businesses. The European Commission announced yesterday details of its Green Deal Industrial Plan, which would see around 250 billion in EU funds, and billions more in national state aid to support clean tech companies.  
02.02.2023 Press release

Parliament votes to strengthen works councils

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The European Parliament today voted by a large majority in favour of the report by MEP Dennis Radtke (EPP) on the revision of the European Works Council Directive. MEPs urge the European Commission to act as soon as possible in order to address the many shortcomings in the current legislation that prevent European Works Councils (EWCs) from effectively exercising their rights. Today's victory is the first step and the ETUC will continue its fight to improve EWC rights. The European Commission now has three months to respond to the demands of the European Parliament.
02.02.2023 Press release

MEPs support full rights for platform workers

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The European Parliament has taken an important step towards ending bogus self-employment and precariousness in digital labour platforms. Delivery riders, cab drivers, content creators, programmers, click-workers, engineers and carers are among 28 million workers who would benefit from the provisions in the Employment Committee’s report which passed its plenary vote today. MEPs voted to end the system of false self-employment used by platform companies to cut costs at the detriment of workers’ pay and conditions.
  • 28.01.2023 Press release

    UK anti-strike law ‘beyond comprehension’

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    On Monday MPs in the UK will debate and vote on new minimum service level rules that ministers claim are copied from other European countries. In Europe wages are fixed by negotiations between trade unions and employers. In the UK just over a quarter of working people have their wages and working conditions set by such collective agreements. In Germany over half of all workers are covered by collective agreements, rising to three quarters in The Netherlands, over 80% in Denmark and Spain and over 90% in Austria and Belgium.
  • 26.01.2023 Press release

    Net-Zero Industry Act: Now match the US on social standards

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    Trade unions today challenged the European Commission to match the United States on their commitments to raising social standards as well as subsidy levels through the Net-Zero Industry Act. ETUC and industriAll Europe leaders met with Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis to discuss the policies announced last week in response to the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act.
  • 25.01.2023 Press release

    EU mainstreams social dialogue – on paper

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    The European Commission has today announced plans which would mainstream social dialogue in decision making at European and national level - if they are effectively implemented. Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis today presented a communication on strengthening social dialogue in the EU and a Council recommendation on supporting social dialogue at national level.
  • 17.01.2023 Press release

    Unions meet US ambassador over green jobs

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    European trade union leaders have today met with the United States Trade Representative to discuss how to increase the number of quality green jobs in both the United States and Europe. A joint delegation from the ETUC and industriAll Europe today met Ambassador Katherine Tai in Brussels to discuss the need to support European companies in making a just transition to a green economy on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • 17.01.2023 Press release

    MEPs to vote on ending fake self-employment – or not

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    The European Parliament will vote on the draft EU law on platform work rights and whether to stop fake self-employment on platforms. The plenary vote is due to be held on Thursday 19 January.   The ETUC is urging MEPs to vote for the position agreed in the Employment Committee after long negotiations between the political groups. Trade unions are concerned that some members of the EPP, ECR and Renew will vote against it with the intention to further weaken the European Commission’s draft Directive.
  • 12.01.2023 Press release

    Eurobarometer: EU must do more on cost of living crisis

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    Responding to the Eurobarometer published today by the European Parliament, which shows the cost of living crisis is the biggest worry of citizens, ETUC General Secretary Esther Lynch said: “This poll should be a wake-up call for European leaders on the cost of living crisis.
  • 12.01.2023 Press release

    Anti-strike law puts UK outside mainstream

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    Responding to UK Government claims that new anti-strike laws would bring the UK into line with Europe, European Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Esther Lynch said: “The UK already has among the most draconian restrictions on the right to strike in Europe, and the UK government’s plans would push it even further away from normal, democratic practice across Europe. 
  • 20.12.2022 Press release

    EU gas price cap too little too late for workers

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    Commenting on the Energy Council’s agreement on measures to limit excessive gas prices, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said: “With energy bills now costing more than a month’s wages in more than half of EU countries, any measure to limit excessive gas prices is good news.
  • 15.12.2022 Press release

    EU to agree equal pay for Christmas

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    Europe has taken an important step towards equal pay for work of equal value today with a final agreement on the pay transparency directive. The ETUC is calling on Member States to follow through and adopt the Directive in the Council before the Christmas break.  
  • 14.12.2022 Press release

    Dutch Labour Minister signs up for Zero Death At Work

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      Dutch Social Affairs and Employment Minister Karien van Gennip will today sign the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) 'Zero Death at Work' manifesto. Launched on Workers Memorial Day on 28 April this year, the manifesto calls on the EU and member states to take the actions needed to achieve zero death at work.by 2030.
  • 13.12.2022 Press release

    Cost of Christmas dinner up 7 times more than wages

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    Families will be forced to cut back on Christmas dinner this year as a result of food prices rising up to seven times faster than wages, an analysis by the ETUC has found. Food prices, which is the second highest contributor to inflation after energy, have increased by a huge 18% across the European Union since last winter. The prices of items needed to cook a Christmas dinner have, on average across the EU, increased by: Meat: +16.4% Vegetables: +20.2% Potatoes: +17.6% Flour: +32.1
  • 09.12.2022 Press release

    Council issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos

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    The Council has announced its position for the trialogue negotiations on the revision of the directive protecting workers from risks related to asbestos exposure. The Council focuses on the revision of the exposure limit value and the measuring method, just like the European Commission did in September 2022 by proposing a review of the Directive, which set a dangerously high maximum exposure level of 10,000 asbestos fibres/m3.
  • 09.12.2022 Press release

    ETUC on media reports

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    The ETUC read in the media about the questioning of its former General Secretary by the Belgian authorities.   The ETUC has no reason to believe that the investigation referred to in the media has any connection to the ETUC.   The searches of premises referred to in the media did not include ETUC premises. The ETUC will cooperate with the authorities.
  • 08.12.2022 Press release

    New European trade union leader to prioritise pay rises and solidarity

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    The new General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has said she will prioritise improved pay for workers in the face of the continent-wide cost of living crisis. Esther Lynch, appointed General Secretary on 6th December will complete a journey from factory worker to the top of the European labour movement, says her organisation will work to create a broad alliance for higher wages, secure jobs and respect for collective bargaining.
  • 06.12.2022 Press release

    Ministers should reject Czech platform proposal

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    The ETUC is calling on national ministers to reject the proposal of the Czech presidency on the platform work directive. The Czech proposal, which would weaken the directive, was rejected at COREPER last week following objections from eight member states. However, the Czech presidency has still failed to respond to concerns about their proposal and is pressing ahead in putting a largely unchanged proposal which they will present again to COREPER on Wednesday before trying to secure the agreement of ministers at EPSCO on Thursday. Their proposal would:
  • 05.12.2022 Press release

    National UPdates n°26 - Winter 2022

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    Dear readers, As regular readers of National UPdates will know, we usually try to highlight some of the less obvious trade union activities at national level. However, the current cost-of-living crisis has led to strikes and demonstrations across Europe, as workers see the value of their wages plummet. So, in this issue we also summarise some of the trade union actions, in different countries, designed to defend workers and their families. 
  • 01.12.2022 Press release

    Competitiveness Council excludes unions and workers from fight against human rights violations by companies

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    Today, the Competitiveness Council adopted its “general approach” for the trialogue negotiations on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD). “The position taken by the Council is very disappointing to say the least”, says Isabelle Schömann, ETUC Confederal Secretary. “The Council position waters down an already unambitious proposal by the Commission.