(18 December 2017) The European Commission published a range of proposals for reform of the Economic and Monetary Union, 6 December. One of the proposals is to integrate the Fiscal Compact in EU legislation. The Members of the Executive discussed this is a critical manner. EPSU has rejected the Fiscal Compact and drew attention to the ongoing struggles of public service workers in Europe to fight wage freezes and cuts in public spending.
Members adopted positions on:
- The assessment of the EMU package. The social pillar and social dimension are absent from the Commission proposals. We do not need legislation that leads to years of austerity as our Spanish and Greek colleagues made clear. And where is the social progress protocol to balance economic and social rights?
- ETUC position on the Broad Economic Guidelines and the Annual Growth Survey
- Second phase consultation in action addressing the challenges of access to social protection for people in all forms of employment
- Budget of the ETUC and an increase in affiliation fee to ensure that Europe’s unions can withstand the attacks on union and workers’ rights, and can defend the welfare state and campaign for Social Europe.
- ETUC priorities for implementing the Pillar of Social Rights – ETUC adopted a series of concrete proposals what it expects from the pillar and which measures are needed to underpin the credibility of the pillar. One of these early signs is that the Commission takes the relaunch of the social dialogue serious. It should forward the agreement reached between central government employers and unions to the Council to become legislation. The ETUC Executive had a longer discussion on what can be done to stand up for the rights of the trade unions and employers as laid down in the Treaty and how EPSU can be supported further.
- More and Better Jobs. ETUC will start a project to define these concepts further and how they will steer the unions at local level to organize better.
- On Future Relationship between EU and the United Kingdom. The ETUC and its UK affiliate the TUC as well as the Irish unions in the ICTU are very concerned about the positions adopted by the UK government. They can mean more hardship for UK and Irish workers as well as workers in other European countries. The attack on the Working Time Directive by the Conservatives is a complete betrayal of workers and all the Brexiters and the UK government have been saying
- From Bonn COP23 to Katowice COP 24 Member States need to do more to lower CO2 emissions in their national determined contributions as laid down in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Katowice meeting will take stock of what has been done. We want to see more focus on just transition and on the role of the public sector and public investment in delivering as the market can not safe us from global warming.
- Gender based violence at work and at home . The ETUC committed to continue its work on addressing violence against women at work and at home as part of the trade union agenda.
- Organising and Recruitment
- Company law package defines the position of the trade unions in advance of forthcoming proposals of the Commission. Addressing workers’ exploitation and tax avoidance need to be key elements of these proposals.
- European Labour Authority. Commission President Juncker proposed it without providing much content in his State of the Union address September 2017. The ETUC has now defined its approach focusing on enforcement of labour and social security rights and fighting social dumping.
- ETUC Position on a European Labour Authority - ensuring fairness for workers in the single market