Sep. 14, 2017 The European Trade Union Institute has published an updated analysis of the treatment of social issues in the European Semester - the process of economic policy coordination. This reveals, for example, the extent to which the country-specific recommendations address the question of collective bargaining, with the European institutions calling for reforms in many countries, with the accent on decentralisation of bargaining despite the lack of evidence that this produces any economic benefits.
Sep. 01, 2017 The SSP/vpod public services union is campaigning with political and other organisations to defend the right to strike in the care sector. In proposed revisions to the law on the care sector, the government of the Fribourg region in western Switzerland plans to ban strike action. The union says this will deprive over 6000 workers (4000 in the public sector and 2500 in the non-profit sector) of the right to strike.The campaigning organisations have been collecting signatures for a petition and demonstrations and other action are planned if the region doesn't revise its proposals.
Aug. 31, 2017 Proposals to reform the labour code were published owin 31 August with some initial negative reactions from the trade unions. A common response was that the raft of reforms was being put forward before there had been a proper evaluation of the changes that have been implemented in the last four years. Unions expressed concern about rebalancing of the relationship between sector and company-level bargaining and changes to compensation in cases of redundancy. In small companies (less than 50 employees) it will be possible for employers to negotiate with non-trade union representatives and in companies with less than 300 employees existing committees dealing with health and safety and working conditions will be merged. The CGT confederation will maintain its opposition to the proposals with a day of action and strikes on 12 September. The CFDT expressed disappointment with what it saw as a missed opportunity to improve social dialogue while FO said it would need time to analyse the reforms and UNSA similarly said it would consult with members and work to amend the negative elements.
Aug. 16, 2017 The STAL trade union reports a high level of support for strike action at the RESIESTRELA waste company part of the EGF multinational. The strike is over pay, a pay structure and the right to collective bargaining. The union says that workers at RESIESTRELA are the lowest paid in the EGF group with no developed pay or career structure. STAL has been raising these issues with EGF for many years but the company has refused to negotiate.
Aug. 15, 2017 After the recent success of public service union UNISON in getting the courts to end the government's policy to charge workers for the right to take employment tribunal cases, UNISON and the PCS civil service union have celebrated two further court victories. UNISON's second success came in another landmark case that will effectively require employers to consult over workplace restructuring such as redundancies. The PCS victory was in a judicial review of government cuts to the civil service pension scheme which the government now has to withdraw.
Jul. 17, 2017
It is one year since the failed coup attempt 15 and 16 July 2016. This coup attempt was condemned by Turkish, European and international trade unions.
Jun. 21, 2017
Pay rise campaign, trade union rights in Turkey and much more at the UNISON international conference
(21 June 2017) The dismal state of the UK health care system and the lack of funding for social care under the Conservative government were among the main themes of the annual delegates’ conference
Jun. 09, 2017
EPSU protests against the arbitrary arrest of Taner Kiliç, the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey
Police detained the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kiliç 6 June. He was arrested by police on suspicion of having links with the Fethullah Gülen movement.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) The three main confederations have expressed their concern over some of the elements of the new government's proposals for reforming labour law. The details won't be published until the end of June but already the unions have raised issues with plans to rebalance collective bargaiing towards the company level, reform workplace representation and reduce compensation for redundancy. They argue that they see little in the proposals to benefit workers and remain unconvinced that reducing employment protection will boost job creation. A process of consultation is planned for the summer period but the government aims to have the legislation place by September.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) The ETF European federation for transport workers has reacted angrily to recommendatoins from the European Commission in its "Open and connected Europe" document on the so-called service continuity, including measures affecting the right to strike of air traffic control staff. The federation believes the measures infringe the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and says it reserves the right to challenge them in the European Court of Justice. The ETF is also highly critical of the mobility package launched by the European Commission last month, arguing against dangerous proposals on rest time which threaten to increase fatigue among drivers and increase risks of accidents.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) An interview with a member of a Commission appointed by the Greek government and the Troika provides an overview of the massive negative impact of reforms on the collective bargaining system and the continuing pressure for reforms, particularly coming from the International Monetary Fund, that flies in the face of the position of the Greek government, trade unions and employers.