27.11.2023 Press release

Telework: Legislative action needed by EU Commission

Right to disconnect
The ETUC is calling on the European Commission to initiate swift legislative action on telework and the right to disconnect following the blocking of a European social partner agreement by employers.   
21.11.2023 Press release

Net-Zero Industry Act: Europe risks falling behind US on social standards

Commenting on the European Parliament plenary vote on the Net Zero Industry Act, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said: “This is the first time that the importance of social conditions to a successful industrial policy have been recognised at EU level. The text calls for public contracts to be evaluated on their contribution to creating decent wages, working conditions, apprenticeship and training opportunities in order to increase the attractiveness of employment in net-zero industry sector.
15.11.2023 Press release

Real wages falling despite inflation-busting profits

The pay of European workers is still falling in real terms despite corporations making above-inflation profits, new research by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has found. Across the European Union, the value of wages has fallen this year when inflation is taken into account. By contrast, company profits have increased by nearly 2 per cent in real terms. Real pay is falling while real profits is rising in nine member states, including Germany, France and Italy. In a further 10 member states, increases in real profits are higher than increases in real wages.
  • 14.11.2023 Press release

    1.5 million protected from lead cancer risk

    Around 1.5 million workers will benefit from new protections from exposure to cancer-causing lead. Safer exposure limits for lead have been agreed today as part an inter-institutional agreement on the fifth revision of the Carcinogens, Mutagens, and Reprotoxic Directive. When implemented, the new limits will mean that: - The occupational exposure limit will be lowered from 0.15 milligrams per cubic meter (0.15mg/m3) to 0.03mg/m3 - The biological exposure limit will be lowered from 70 microgram per 100 millilitre of blood (70µg/100ml) to 15µg/100ml. 
  • 08.11.2023 Press release

    IMF hitting wrong target on inflation

    Commenting on the IMF Regional Economic Outlook, ETUC General Secretary Esther Lynch said: “The IMF is arguing that the poorest people pay the highest price for a crisis caused by the profits of the biggest corporations. “Real wages were negative across Europe last year while real profits increased and dividends skyrocketed.
  • 02.11.2023 Press release

    Food costs still rising far quicker than pay

    The price of the most basic food stuffs is still rising up to seven times faster than wages, Eurostat data published today shows. The price of olive oil is 75 per cent higher than it was in January 2021, while there have also been increases in the price of potatoes (53%), eggs (37%) and butter (27%). By contrast, nominal wages have increased by 11% in the EU and 10% in the Euro area over the last three years.  
  • 31.10.2023 Press release

    Lawmakers must stand up to platform pressure

    Trade unions are calling on politicians to stand up to intense lobbying by platform companies and deliver real rights for delivery riders, taxi drivers, carers and other workers. Uber has bombarded social media in Belgium with over 100 adverts since September 25 in an effort to weaken the EU directive on platform work, the Meta advert library shows.
  • 26.10.2023 Press release

    Record rates require windfall tax on banks

    Trade unions are calling on governments to impose a windfall tax on banks making huge profits on the back of interest rate rises. The European Central Bank announced today it is maintaining interest rates at their highest level since the creation of the Euro following 10 consecutive increases over the past year.
  • 17.10.2023 Press release

    Ministers delay decision on austerity rules after protest

    Paris demonstration
    EU finance ministers have today delayed a decision on new budget rules which would require at least 45 billion Euro in cuts next year. The Economic and Financial Affairs Council was expected to conclude a deal that would require 14 member states (see table in notes) with a deficit above 3% of GDP to reduce their deficit by a minimum of 0.5% of GDP every year. However, ministers have instead decided to remain at the negotiating table.
  • 13.10.2023 Press release

    Unions protest against 45bn EU austerity plan

    Tens of thousands of people will take part in a major demonstration in Paris on Friday against EU plans to reintroduce austerity, a move which could force countries to cut 45 billion Euro from their budgets next year alone. Trade unionists from across Europe will join a day of action called by eight French unions against austerity and for pay rises, pensions and gender equality. The ETUC is calling for the suspension of the EU’s fiscal rules to be extended by another year to allow time for a proper debate about the consequences of and alternatives to reimposing austerity.
  • 12.10.2023 Press release

    ETUC welcomes Luc Triangle elected today as head of the ITUC

    Luc Triangle
    The ETUC congratulates Luc Triangle on his election as General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Elected by representatives of national trade union centres from across the world, he will put his proven leadership and skills to the service of the global trade union body, which represents over 190 million workers. Luc Triangle is well known to workers and trade unions within Europe from his leadership as General Secretary of industriAll Europe.
  • 09.10.2023 Press release

    Social Economy: Now up to member states to deliver 

    European ministers today reached agreement on measures to strengthen Europe’s social economy.  A recommendation approved by the employment and social affairs council aims to “create favourable conditions for social economy organisations to thrive and grow” and includes measures to ensure people working in the sector have decent pay and conditions by promoting collective bargaining. 
  • 04.10.2023 Press release

    ETUC calls for a directive to strengthen European Works Councils

    Raising and addressing workplace issues
    Serious defects in current legislation allow multinational companies to circumvent workers’ information and consultation rights. The ETUC is adamant that these can only be addressed with a legally binding instrument. The ETUC backs the call by the European Parliament on the EU Commission to revise the European Works Council Directive now. The ETUC is calling for a directive to bring about much-needed improvements in three key areas:
  • 04.10.2023 Press release

    EU must assist Ukraine reach social standards

    EU social partners high-level mission to Kyiv expressed the solidarity of the European trade union movement and of SGI Europe for Ukraine, its people, their trade unions and employers’ organisations.   The ETUC and SGI Europe are calling for the EU to do more to help Ukraine make the significant advances needed on social policy for it to make progress towards membership. 
  • 28.09.2023 Press release

    Child poverty rises for third year running

    Child poverty
    Trade unions are calling for an urgent rethink of plans to reintroduce austerity as new EU figures show the number of children living in poverty has risen for the third consecutive year.
  • 15.09.2023 Press release

    Parliament protects right to strike

    Right to strike
    The European Parliament has this week voted in favour of safeguards for the right to strike, which is at risk under the proposal for a Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI). As this legislative proposal moves towards the decisive trilogue negotiations, it is crucial that these safeguards be included in the final regulation. The Commission plans to repeal the existing regulation on the functioning of the single market, which explicitly safeguards the right to strike through the so-called Monti clause.
  • 14.09.2023 Press release

    Record rate hike hits workers, helps shareholders

    The European Central Bank today announced a 10th consecutive increase in interest rates, leaving them at their highest level since the creation of the Euro. Responding to the decision, European Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Esther Lynch said: "This is an astonishing decision. This is the wrong time for the ECB to increase interest rates. This decision will hurt workers, enrich shareholders and paves the way for a recession next year."
  • 13.09.2023 Press release

    SOTEU: Causes of the social justice emergency unaddressed

    Responding to the State of the Union Address, ETUC General Secretary Eshter Lynch said:  “Today’s speech was future-focussed. It commits the EU to build a future based on a fair and just transition with decent jobs. The challenges of guardrails for AI were recognised along with the importance of childcare for workers.