With EU pillar of social rights in place, time is ticking for Commission to deliver on social partner agreements

Date: 
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Europe’s unions made their voice heard over the past few weeks leading up to the declaration of the EU Pillar of Social Rights in Gothenburg on 17 November. EPSU launched a video to support the social dialogue and demand progress with the agreement on information and consultation rights for over 9.3 million workers in central government administrations. The need to respect social partner agreements received support from Members of the European Parliament in the debates on the pillar and to maintain pressure on the Commission EPSU has filed a request to obtain access to its documents on this issue. We have been waiting for over a year for the Commission to provide us with its legal analysis. The representativeness study on the social partners in the sector was published last Friday. It is positive and there are no excuses for the Commission to further frustrate the process.

Other events this week:

  • 22 November: The European Parliament is organizing a public hearing on the violation of trade union rights in Turkey. Representatives will testify on the repression they are facing in doing their union job. With the ETUC we are calling for an end to the state of emergency.
  • 24 November: The 5th summit of the Eastern Partnership countries takes place where EU representatives meet leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to discuss the progress with their relationship. Together with the ETUC and PERC, the pan-European regional union council, we will put the interests of workers and people first, highlighting meaningful social dialogue and investment in public services. Investing in staff and institutions to end corruption is key and the EU can set a good example by providing decent whistleblower protection, closing tax havens and addressing tax avoidance.  
  • 25 November is the international day to highlight the struggle to end violence against women. The number of women that have experienced forms of harassment at work remains staggering. Many public service union leaders pledged their support for the campaign at the PSI Congress on 3 November.  Unions are in an excellent position to address this at the workplace and through collective bargaining, with many also raising awareness and organising training to end domestic violence.

We have just received the first copies of the history of our Federation (1978-2016), written by our former General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel. She did a great job and will present the book at the Executive Committee next week. We will send all affiliates a copy. There is much to be proud of and inspire us for the battles to come.