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Brussels Bubble thriving this week, as workers across Europe face harsh reality

(8 October 2014) The Commissioner-candidates had to pass the test in the European Parliament. Were they up to the job? Did they have conflicts of interest arising from former businesses interests? Could they be trusted to carry out their duties given the positions taken by the governments who nominated them? The Grand coalition build around soon-to-be President Juncker and the support he receives from the European People’s Party, most of the Socialists and Democrats, the Liberals and some (...)

New EU Commissioners

(23 September 2014) After weeks and weeks of speculation, leaks and videotapes, the European Commission President revealed the 26 remaining candidates for the European Commission. They will now go to the European Parliament for approval. Some of the hearings are set to be stormy. According to incoming President Juncker this Commission will take us out of the crisis and make a fresh start to deliver a Europe of jobs and growth. This is what we all want. The legacy of the Barroso Commission (...)

Back from holidays, business as usual !

(26 August 2014) There was little in the way of a summer celebration for workers at the Irish company Greyhound Recycling and Recovery. The owners are seeking wage cuts of around 30%. They claim that this will make the company competitive. The 80 workers and their union SIPTU challenged the cuts, launched a seris of protests and have now been locked out since 17th June. The company is using legal action to try to prevent protests and blockades amid growing public anger over the company’s (...)

Test for the new EU Parliament - Defend the Maternity Leave Directive

(15 July 2014) The European Commission has indicated it wants to withdraw the maternity leave directive. This initiative is part of its Refit agenda aiming to do away with what it sees as unnecessary regulatory burdens. Removing this directive is also the top priority of the UK government’s Business Taskforce (see Cut EU Red Tape, 24 February 2014). Many women who have recently given birth and/or are breastfeeding would stand to benefit from the directive which would strengthen the (...)

A scandal that government officials are forced to leak documents on trade as governments keep them secret from Parliaments and public.

(25 June 2014) With the European Parliament and European Commission still in limbo following the European elections, the European agenda is dominated by the negotiations of several free trade agreements : with Canada, the United States as well as between the really good friends of trade, that is to say the countries negotiating [TISA). These negotiations are taking place behind closed doors and involve trade experts and corporate lobbyists. The growing concerns of trade unions, social (...)

It is time for change

(5 June 2014) The memory of EPSU Congress is still lingering in our heads. It was a success and let me say thanks again to our French colleagues and EPSU staff for your hard work and to all delegates for the many contributions in the debates. We said good bye to Carola and Anne-Marie after many years of active work for EPSU. Congress also elected Annelie Nordström from Kommunal as our new President and myself as General Secretary. Thank you for your support and we look forward to ensure (...)

Final count-down before the EPSU Congress starts on next Tuesday, 20 May

(15 May 2014) The Congress will be the moment to review our past struggles and lay the foundations for the future EPSU action. Congress will also elect a new leadership team, as both our President Anne-Marie Perret and myself will no longer run for office. The past 5 years have been marked by austerity policies all over. Many EPSU affiliates were confronted with the consequences of these misguided policies of cutting salaries and cutting jobs in the public sector. The European Union is in (...)

1st of May - fighting for our Europe

(25 April 2014) This coming 1 May workers and their trade unions will march for a social Europe, a Europe where we can live in peace. We want a peaceful solution for Ukraine; we also want that the Turkish trade unionists can peacefully gather on Taksim Square to celebrate Mayday in Istanbul. 4 April 2014 Euro Demo, Brussels Five years of austerity policy have ravaged many countries of the European Union. Austerity is the root cause for many citizens to reject the European Union in its current political course. Much is made these days of the fact that Greece is able to present a balanced primary budget for the first time in years. But what is the social cost?

The last Executive before our Congress took place on 1 April

(3 April 2014) We just finished the last Executive Committee before EPSU’s 9th Congress. The issues we deal with show that trade unions do have alternatives and are mobilised to obtain them. We reinforce our demand for more transparency from the European Commission in its trade negotiations to conclude the Transnational Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States by signing on to a broad call for more openness with a range of NGO’s. We reject liberalisation through the (...)

More action needed to close the gender pay gap - it is rising again

(13 March 2014) International women’s day is a reason to celebrate the struggle of many women as well as men in the trade union movement to bring about more equality, in our work places, in our unions and in society. For public services workers, five years in the financial, economic and social crisis caused by bank deregulation, lax financial oversight, and the greed and corruption inherent in the neoliberal agenda, the situation is not improving. Many workers lose their jobs due to the (...)

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