(19 December 2019) The last Executive Committee of the ETUC this year debated promoting collective bargaining and improving wages. It considered its position on the announced initiative of the new EU Commission President to ensure every worker in Europe will have a fair wage and what kind of legal instrument is best suited for this purpose. The strengthening of collective bargaining and trade union rights is a key issue as employers work to destroy them and conservative governments are supporting them. The information we are getting from employers indicates that they are against EU measures that would improve workers’ pay. Especially the multinational companies are happy to keep large pay disparities between Central and Eastern Europe and the rest. This is no acceptable.
The Executive Committee further adopted:
- A position on due diligence demanding obligatory reporting of companies regarding human rights, tax and much more in the EU. Trade unions and many other groups have argued for a binding UN Treaty to assist that companies respect human rights.
- Input into the enlargement summit forthcoming. Negotiations for membership of the EU with North Macedonia and Albania should have started.
- To reject the EU-Vietnam trade agreement. Vietnam has not ratified the relevant ILO conventions. The agreement contains the controversial protection mechanism for multinational companies. The European Parliament will have to consider its position in January.
- Policy on the EU Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness
- The work programme on Migration and Asylum. We participated in a picture action on the occasion of 18 December, International Migrants Day.
- Stronger cooperation with the Workers’ Group in the European Economic and Social Committee
- A resolution in support of the Ukrainian unions fighting against attacks on the Labour code
- Input for the discussion on the action plan on the EU Pillar of Social Rights
For EPSU President Mette Nord, vice-president Thomas Kattnig and the EPSU General Secretary participated. We used the opportunity to join a picture action to support measures addressing stress at work. The meeting took place 17 and 18 December 2019, Brussels