Austerity keeps biting, let's keep up resistance!

(13 March 2013) On the eve of the next European Council meeting, the ETUC is calling again for a protest action on 14 March in Brussels. This follows on from several weeks of mobilization in Ireland, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium and Portugal, where mass demonstrations took place against government’s austerity plans in February and March. This week’s tripartite summit will start against the background of thousands of workers across Europe saying:{"Together for a better future: No to austerity! Yes for jobs to young people!}" Youth unemployment is one of the most pressing problems in Europe today. More than 5.4 million young people are unemployed and many more are working under precarious conditions. We cannot and will not accept this ‘no hope – no future scenario’ for young people. We need a youth guarantee and a major investment in quality jobs in key areas of the public sector as well, such as health, education, networks and infrastructures. Many public service areas are sorely understaffed, this goes for many of the control and inspection services, be it meat control, labour or tax inspection. Tax dodgers are having a heyday because of austerity. EPSU will therefore continue to promote its just taxation campaign to pay for jobs and quality public services for all. On 8 March we celebrated International women’s day, a good moment to review the situation of women in the labour market. A new EPSU report shows that austerity measures have been particularly harmful to women, who in most countries make up the majority of those employed in the public sector. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have continued to collect signatures to ensure that water and sanitation are kept as a public service and is declared a human right. This action has gained momentum across Europe but specially in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Luxembourg...Let us convince those who have not yet signed to do so at [www.right2water.eu->www.right2water.eu] Let us make this campaign an even greater success than it is already! We continue to rally for the respect of trade unions rights in Turkey. Over two hundred trade unionists have been jailed in the last few months. We keep up our solidarity campaign for their release. I will participate in an international trade union delegation to attend the court hearing of KESK members on 10 April. We will keep you posted about the outcome. As you see, these are busy times for us! Yours Carola Fischbach-Pyttel