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ETUC says posted workers still need more protection

17 April 2014

The latest stage in the long-running process of introducing an Enforcement Directive to strengthen implementation of the rights of posted workers has seen the European Parliament agree a draft that falls short of the measures called for by the ETUC. While the proposed legislation includes elements that might help clamp down on bogus self-employment and letterbox companies, the ETUC is concerned that requirements for "proportionate" action might undermine some of the stronger measures being taken by individual member states. The Enforcement Directive still needs to be approved by the European Council. The ETUC is now arguing for a strengthening of the Posted Workers Directive itself. Read more at > European Parliament (23 languages) And at > ETUC (EN/FR)

More needed than just platform on undeclared work

17 April 2014

In response to the widespread problem of undeclared work, the European Commission is planning to set up a new EU Platform to bring together all the various national enforcement bodies that are trying to tackle the issue - in particular, labour inspectorates, social security, and tax authorities - along with social partners. The Commission says that the platform will provide a forum for experts to meet and exchange best practices, develop their knowledge of undeclared work and even engage in operational cooperation. While welcoming the initiative, EPSU points out that austerity, that limits resources available to public authorities, and other European legislation, such as the single member limited company, undermine efforts to deal with social dumping. Read more at > European Commission (EN/FR) And at > EPSU (EN) And at > ETUC (EN/FR)

Directive provides for increased mobility of pension rights

16 April 2014

The new directive on supplementary pension rights should allow workers moving across borders more possibilities to take their pension entitlement with them. The Directive includes provisions on guarantees (vesting rights) which should be granted at the latest after three years of employment and with a minimum age of no more than 21 years. The rights of workers who leave an employer-run pension scheme before retirement must be preserved and treated fairly compared to the rights of those workers who remain in the scheme, for example as regards indexation. Workers will also have the right to know how potential mobility would affect their pension rights, and those who have left the scheme must be informed about the value of their rights. Read more at > European Commission (EN, FR, DE)

Study includes focus on public sector trends

26 March 2014

The ETUI trade union research institute has published it annual analysis - Benchmarking Working Europe. The report covers a broad range of developments in the labour market, labour law, health and safety, worker participation, inequality and collective bargaining. The chapter on collective bargaining chapter focuses on public sector developments listing the pay freezes in 17 countries, pay cuts of up to 10% in eight countries and of between 15%-30% in five countries while in seven countries there have been cuts to bonuses and other special payments. The section also looks at pay trends between 2002-07 compared to 2007-11. Read more at > ETUI (EN)

Unions criticise employment conditions at European Central Bank

19 March 2014

Unions representing staff at the European Central Bank (ECB) are highly critical of the Bank’s excessive use of short-term contracts, consultancies, temporary agencies as well as three year contract workers whose further career depends on arbitrary management appraisals. The unions argue that such arrangements threaten to undermine the independence and performance of the Bank. Read more at > EPSU including statements in FR, DE, ES and IT

Collective bargaining news from the ETUI

19 March 2014

The latest edition of the collective bargaining newsletter from the ETUI consists of more than 60 articles covering 34 European countries. There are several on developments in EPSU sectors including hospital catering workers in Turkey, healthcare reforms in Romania, civil servants in the Czech Republic and energy and other public sector workers in Cyprus. Read more at > ETUI (EN) And to search the newsletter archive > CB archive (EN)

ETUC welcomes Parliament report on Troika

17 February 2014

The ETUC has welcomed the report from the European Parliament’s Employment Committee which exposes the impact of Troika policies on Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus. Apart from the failed economic policies and devastating social impacts, the Committee report and the ETUC evidence to the Committee highlighted the attacks on wages, collective bargaining and wage determination systems as well as the Troika’s failure to undertake meaningful consultations with trade unions. Read more at ETUC (EN) And at > CES (FR)

High collective bargaining coverage in electricity sector

14 February 2014

The EIRO industrial relations observatory has published a study on the representativeness of the social partners in the electricity industry. This is part of the formal process required by the European Commission and confirms that the two European Trade Union Federations - EPSU and industrAll - are the two most representative trade unions at European level. The study found that: "Collective bargaining coverage is relatively high in the electricity sector. Some 18 of the 22 countries with available data record high rates of collective bargaining coverage, exceeding 70%. The remaining countries with available information record a rate of collective bargaining coverage which varies between 40% and 60%." Read more at > EIRO

Report calls for action on employment

28 January 2014

This year’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Employment Trends report argus that "a switch to more employment-friendly policies and rising labour incomes would boost economic growth and job creation" and reduce the real risk of a jobless recovery. The ILO is particularly concerned about the scale of youth unemployment and also about the trend to long-term unemployment in countries like Spain and Greece. The ILO argues that boosting wages as well as increasing public spending on active labour market policies to around 1.2% of GDP would make a major contribution to job creation. The report also highlights the extent of at-work poverty and emphasizes the need for decent work. Read more at > ILO (EN. DE, FR, ES, HU, IT)

Commission publishes recommendation on traineeships

13 January 2014

In December the European Commission published a proposal for a Council Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships. The aim is to enable trainees to acquire high-quality work experience under safe and fair conditions, and to increase their chances of finding a good quality job. The Commission says that currently one in three traineeships is substandard with regard to working conditions or learning content. In March last year, EPSU and the other social partners agreed a joint statement on the Commission’s consultation on a quality framework. Read more at > European Commission (EN/FR) And at > EPSU (EN)

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