Yolanda Diaz, Second Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister of Labour and the Social Economy, addressed the ETUC Executive Committee on 28 September in Madrid (photo ETUC)
(2 October 2023) Stressing the role of Spanish trade unions to bolster democracy and expressing strong support for workers’ and trade union rights, the Spanish Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz of the current EU Presidency got a standing ovation following her address to the ETUC Executive Committee. Quoting from Gramsci, referring to her participation at 1 May event and welcoming US President Biden’s attendance of a picket line and rally of the United Autoworkers of America, she criticised the policies of the ECB to raise interest rates. Such policies hit working class people. And working people are not the cause of the inflation. That she said, referring to several studies, are the companies which have been driving up their profits. The Minister further referred to the work of the Spanish Presidency to finalise a number of legislative social policy files including to protect Platform workers against exploitation.
The ETUC Executive Committee, the first with Wolfgang Katzian as President, dealt with a great number of topics:
- Trade union renewal. The members engaged in a strategic debate that will be continued. Membership growth is crucial.
- Demands and campaigning for the European elections in 2024 – Delivering a Fair Deal for Workers (Manifesto EN - FR)
- ETUC response to the second phase consultation on the European Works Council Directive
- Carcinogens, Mutagens, Reprotoxins – revision 6. ETUC position raises issues for firefighters and that EU needs to address Hazards Medical Products.
- Position on Economic Security Strategy and Strategic Technologies Platform
- Reach – the European Commission should stop its delays and deal with For-ever-chemicals (PFAs).
We looked at the Finance, at the rules of the Standing Committees of the ETUC and observer status for Albanian confederations.
ETUC demonstration 13 December in Brussels
The Executive considered the campaign of the ETUC against austerity and for measures to address the cost of living crisis. 13 October the French unions will welcome unionists from Europe to Paris. On 13 December, ETUC and the Belgian unions invite all to join a demonstration in Brussels ahead of the European Council. Europe’s workers expect a Europe that assists us, not a Europe in the interests of corporate greed and shareholder value.
The ETUC Executive Committee took place 27-28 September, 2023, Madrid. EPSU vice-President Francoise Geng and EPSU General Secretary participated. For the speech of Yolanda Diaz. https://www.etuc.org/system/files/document/file2023-09/Yolanda%20Diaz%20-%20intervencion%20CES%20comit%C3%A9%20ejecutivo.pdf