(11 April 2008, Brussels) Economic and social progress need to go hand in hand is the key message of the joint statement of the social partners in the European gas sector. The trade unions and Eurogas for the employers/ companies agreed to seek a constructive involvement in building a social dimension to the European Energy Community for South East Europe and to contribute to the development of the social dialogue with their expertise. Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU Deputy General Secretary welcomes the statement "The European Gas industry represented by the trade unions and Eurogas speaks out for the social development of the sector. This is a voice the European Commission and the Member States of the Energy Community can not ignore. We expect a serious commitment to the national social action plans and social dialogue”. He recalls that also the electricity social partners have issues a statement which echos a similar strong position.
The joint statement stresses the Importance of the social dialogue at all levels. It underlines the following key areas of the social dimension in the Memorandum.
• Workers' fundamental rights according to European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the European Social Charter, the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers and the EU Charter of fundamental Rights;
• Labour laws - in relation to the promotion of improved working conditions and standards of living;
• Health and safety at work - in relation to improvements in the working environment concerning the health and safety of workers in the energy sector;
• Equal opportunities - with a focus on the introduction, where necessary, of the principle that men and women ought to receive equal pay for equal work;
The gas social partners recommend that the Social Forum monitors the social action plans and also make recommendations regarding the establishment of the Social Forum.
Joint Statement of the European social partners in the European Gas Industry
on the Memorandum of Understanding on the social aspects of the Energy Community
(for South East Europe), April 2008
To read about the work of EPSU on the South East European Energy Community:
For the statement with Eurelectric: