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2012-04-23

(23 April 2012) In this newsletter we are reporting about the Spanish General strike [a huge success], Serbian public sector mobilisations, a national mass demonstration in the Czech Republic, the battle of Portuguese trade unions and social movements against privatisation of the water company and finally the struggle of Greek prison officers read more

Workshop on Social Dialogue in Western Balkan Countries - Energy

(23 April 2012) The Energy Community is bringing many changes for the energy sector in the Western Balkans. This will also be the case for Moldova and Ukraine which have become members of the Energy Community. The governments of these two countries have also committed to implement the Memorandum of Understanding on the Social Dimension of the Energy Community. For the first time participants of EPSU affiliates from these countries were present at an event organized in the frame of the (...)

City of Brussels supports water as a Human Right!

(20 April 2012) Press communication – Media Advisory On April 1st the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sponsored a European Citizens Initiative calling for water to be recognized as a Human Right www.right2water.eu. The European Citizens Initiative is a new direct democracy tool introduced by the European Commission. It requires the collection of 1 million signatures in more than 7 European Members States. The ’Water is a Human Right’ Campaign is a initiative of EPSU (...)

Mass demonstration in Prague against governmental anti-social reforms

(19 April 2012) On Saturday 21 April a mass demonstration against anti-social reforms will take place. Organisers demand the government’s resignation as well as the call for early elections. Led by trade unions and together with more than 20 civil initiatives, NGOs, including organizations representing patients, pensioners, unemployed, as well as university students, demonstrators will protest against the current living and working conditions in the Czech Republic. The main demands are (...)

Europe Inc. in crisis - the EU’s alliance with big business is a dead-end

(19 April 2012) 15 years ago Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) was established (1997). Its mission was to explore if and how corporate interests are capturing the Commission. It published a report Europe, Inc.: Dangerous Liaisons between EU Institutions and Industry. That report exposed the influence of industry lobbying on the new EU treaty being signed at that time. The powerful role of lobby groups such as the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) was exposed in promoting and (...)

Portuguese campaign against water privatization challenges politicians

(18 April 2012) The Steering group of the ‘Água é de todos’ campaign, that support the Water is a Human Right ECI, has demanded an audience with all the political groups of the Portuguese parliament (PSD, PS, CDS-PP, PCP, Bloco de Esquerda[left block] and “Os Verdes” [Greens]) to question them about the proposed privatization of water services in Portugal. The campaign has collected more than 10000 signatures to oppose such privatization and defending water services and an essential human right. (...)

European Commission support for corporate interests Repsol over people’s interest is scandalous

EPSU Press communication (18 April 2012) Argentine President Kirchner stated that she will propose to the Argentine Parliament the partial nationalisation of the oil company YPF. YPF is a subsidiary of Spanish oil company Repsol, which owns 57% of the shares. Repsol is shouting out loud how unjust this is and seeks international arbitration. The Spanish government is threatening revenge. It is followed by most commentators in the media in supporting the interests of the company. But most (...)

Conference on Austerity in Brussels, 5-6 May 2012

(17 April 2012) Corporate European Observatory and the Transnational Institute are organizing a conference, that the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) supports. The conference on Austerity will discuss some of the impacts witnessed in recent times since the financial bubble burst and Europe became embroiled in the severest economic crisis in human memory. Fine words by politicians in 2008 about the need to clean up ’casino capitalism’ and that the ’banks will pay’ are now a (...)

Huge success of Spanish General Strike

(16 April 2012) On 29 March all Spanish trade union confederations called for a 24 hour General Strike. This strike, the second since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis and the first with a Popular Party Government was a total success. EPSU asked affiliates from across Europe to send messages of solidarity to the Spanish unions. The response was to the level of the mobilisation. Below you will find some of these messages. After the success of the strike the Government has (...)

Resisting financial market dictatorship and reclaiming democracy and social rights

(16 April 2012) Trade unionists, anti-poverty campaigners, indignados, social activists and many others discussed how to oppose the policies Europe’s conservative political elites and corporations are pushing upon workers and citizens, 29-30 March 2012, Brussels. The around 150 representatives of 40 organisations from 20 countries also debated coordination of actions against these policies promoted by national governments and European Commission. Representatives of EPSU affiliates (...)

EPSU supports the struggle of Serbian Health workers

(13 April 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends its solidarity to the Union of Health and Social Protection Workers of Serbia. This struggle, that started in 2011 with public sector strikes and protest, tries to redress the difficult financial situation of employees in the health sector in the country. Only with a well funded and well staffed health sector will the Serbian population enjoy decent health care. The Government’s broken promises and lack of will to (...)

EPSU supports prison officers on hunger strike in Greece

(11 April 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a warm message of solidarity to the 11 members of the Executive of the Federation of Correctional Personnel Unions in Greece , OSYE, (member of ADEDY confederation) who have started a hunger strike last Saturday 7 April until Friday 13th. This is the first time that the union resorts to a hunger strike. It is a protest at the dire overpopulation in all correctional facilities in Greece, the chronic (...)

EPSU condemns violence against public sector workers :For nearly 4 years, public sector workers have been the target of austerity measures, they are now the target of direct violence.

(10 April 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) wishes to express its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the bus inspector brutally killed this Easter in Brussels while doing his job. It extends its solidarity to all the public sector workers working for Brussels transport. EPSU also sends a solidarity message to the workers of the Andenne prison (in the region of Namur) that have been injured, during an attempt by inmates to escape the prison. (...)

European support for Portuguese battle against privatisation of water

(10 April 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the Water Campaign “Water is a Human Right” support the initiative from the «Água de todos» campaign in Portugal. This Portuguese initiative has in its core EPSU affiliate STAL. On April 12th the campaign will celebrate water as a public good. They will re-affirm their determination to keep it as a public good and as a Human Right. The organisers of the event do not want to see water in the hands of a few profiteers. (...)

ECI on water formally submitted to the European Commission

(3 April 2012) On Sunday April 1st , the first possible day, the Citizens Committee of the European Citizen Initiative (ECI) on Water as a Human Right submitted to the European Commission its demand for an ECI. After having launched the website www.right2water.eu for the European Citizen Initiative “Water is a Human Right not a commodity” , the organisers are awaiting for the EC response. This ECI is sponsored by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). The European (...)

Unions demand safe working conditions for fire fighters in Europe!

ETUI and EPSU present a brochure on working conditions for firefighters in Europe. (3 April 2012) The firefighters network of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) met on 3 April to discuss around themes arising from a recent publication focused on firefighters’ working conditions in Europe. The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) 50 pages brochure has been put together in cooperation with the EPSU. It addresses the ‘classic’ risks involved in this profession (risks from (...)

Climate change and Rio+20, energy policy, water initiative and concessions top agenda utilities committee

(28 March 2012) The 36th Standing Committee saw a television crew of ZDF joining the meeting. It was making a reportage on the European Citizens’ Initiative and had selected the EPSU Water Campaign as an example. Members of the Committee reported on the preparations, the alliances and obstacles with the initiative. A report was also presented on the work of the EPSU delegation on the presentation during the Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille 15 March. The Committee also received a (...)

Energy road map 2050, restructuring, CSR, skills and training, nuclear safety

(27 March 2012) The employers and unions of the electricity sector considered a dense agenda at their meeting 16 March 2012. The agenda reflects the large number of issues of importance to the sector. The main discussions were on the energy roadmap 2050 and the Commission Green Paper on Restructuring. Energy roadmap. The Social partners noted that the Commission had taken account of their opinion which stressed just transition and decent jobs and that an earlier version lacked a social (...)