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Better for whom ?

(21 May 2015) The European Commission published its Better Regulation Agenda on 19 May and EPSU joined with trade unions and other organisations criticising the proposals for lacking a focus on improving living and working conditions. The agenda is set up to please corporations and maybe some EU governments and does little to ensure corporations pay their taxes for example. Workers in small and medium-sized companies face further erosion of their rights including health and safety (...)

People Get Ready, A Train Is Coming

(13 May 2015) I am listening to a new version of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready, A Train Is Coming”. Singer Ciara Sidine has released it to support the referendum for marriage equality (or same sex marriage) in Ireland on 22 May. The song is full of aspiration and hope. And that is the defiant reaction of UK public service union leaders to the new Conservative government in the UK, a government which even includes an equalities minister which has been openly against same sex marriage. We (...)

1 May – we demand for another Europe

(30 April 2015) On marches, at rallies and other celebrations across Europe on 1st May, the labour movement will demand an end to austerity and a new policy for Europe. I will join the march in Antwerp. Speeches there will stress the need to change a government that is attacking pay and conditions and slashing funding for public services. The public service union CGSP/ACOD organised a strike on 22 April to put pressure on the government for a change of policy and all the EPSU unions in (...)

Shocking but predictable – the largest loss of life in the Mediterranean

(21 April 2015) It was predicted by Europe’s trade unions. Cutting the public funding for the search and rescue missions for boats bringing refugees and migrants across the Mediterranean at end of last year would lead to more deaths, and nothing else. European Union government leaders carry a heavy burden of guilt. Many deaths could have been avoided. The countries of Southern Europe can not be left alone to deal with those escaping poverty and conflict searching for a better future. The (...)

With broad coalition working for change

(26 March 2015) Water activists and trade unionists from across Europe joined a demonstration in Brussels on 23 March, the day after World Water Day, to highlight the European Commission’s failure to act on the Right to Water European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). It is now already a year since the Commission published its response to the ECI and the European Parliament is now discussing its position on the ECI and its reaction to the Commission’s proposals. This was an excellent moment for (...)

Praise and protection, not jail, for tax whistleblower

(18 March 2015) EPSU supports Antoine Deltour, the whistleblower who revealed and the culpability of consultancy PwC and the Luxembourg government in massive tax avoidance (#Luxleaks). After exposing the industrial scale of the tax avoidance schemes, he is facing prosecution and a possible jail sentence. The schemes were approved by the government under the then Prime Minister and Finance Minister and now Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker. Antoine explained to our colleagues in the (...)

EPSU puts McDonalds and tax avoidance in the spotlight

(2 March 2015) We have been witnessing how the "There Is No Alternative" to austerity has played out in Brussels and European capital cities over the last two weeks. The Greek government reached a deal which many have interpreted as caving in by the Syriza government. Others judge that the Greek government has bought itself valuable time. It will continue the negotiations to implement measures that will address the humanitarian crisis of high unemployment, increased poverty and the (...)

Get up, Stand up, Stand up for your Rights

(17 February 2015) Unions across the world are standing up for the #right2strike 18 February. This right is under attack by the employers in the ILO. The employers are supported by several governments which do not recognise independent trade unions. PSI is leading this across the world as especially public service workers see their rights curtailed. The employers find allies not just with dictators but also with the European extreme-right which would like to limit the role of trade unions (...)

Greek people bring message of hope and inspiration for Europe after elections

(5 February 2015) With a new progressive government in Greece, the opposition to EU austerity policies has gained a foothold in the European Council. For many trade union colleagues across Europe it is an expression of hope and inspiration, knowing that people do share our positions and are ready for change. The concerns of many public service workers and our families and communities will find a different and more critical expression in EU meetings. The new Greek finance minister has (...)

Charlie Hebdo

(15 January 2015) Like many of you, I am still shocked by the killing of the journalists, cartoonists, other staff of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the police trying to protect them. It was a brutal attack against freedom of expression and thought, against the freedom to joke, ridicule and laugh with power, religion, with anything really. These rights are so crucial also for trade unionists across the world. The French and European signs of solidarity are impressive. We (...)

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