European Central Bank employees mobilise against precarious work

ipso action

(6 June 2017) Workers at the European Central Bank (ECB) are protesting against the use of temporary contracts and outsourcing on 7 June. The action, organised by the IPSO trade union that represents ECB staff, is the latest initiative in a long-running campaign to get the bank to change its employment policy.  IPSO has been highly critical of the ECB’s use of temporary staff for permanent work, quoting examples where some people have worked for more than five years and in some cases more than 10 years on repeated fixed-term contracts. The union has also taken the Bank to task over its failure to consult staff representatives over the use of agency workers.

The ECB is in the process of changing its policies to ensure it complies with the new German legislation on temporary agency work. However, IPSO is worried that the alternative will be as bad, if not worse, as the Bank is looking to outsource some activities beginning with the IT department. IPSO argues that this will still mean job insecurity as well as potentially worse quality and higher costs.

EPSU sent a solidarity message for this action. General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan said: “It is completely unacceptable that a major European institution like the ECB exploits workers by keeping them for long periods on repeat short-term contracts and avoids obligations to consult the trade union. We hope that the IPSO action will help shift the Bank’s policy and ensure that future employment is secure and stable, with no recourse to outsourcing.”

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