(1 February 2017) EPSU is the European organisation that brings together trade unions organising workers in social care, whether that be private for-profit, not-for-profit or public. The sector is changing as more big multinationals snap up services that were once provided by smaller companies or non-profit or public providers.
All care workers need trade union representation from local up to European and international level. EPSU is taking on this challenge and has stepped up its efforts to organise trade union networks in some of the big social services multinationals in Europe.
On 30 January 2017, shop stewards and trade union representatives from across Europe took part in an initial coordination meeting organised in Brussels. The aim of setting up union networks in several social care multinationals in order to facilitate workers’ rights to information and consultation about the company in which they work. Despite the fact that private companies in the sector realize fabulous profits, insufficient pay, zero-hours and part-time contracts and precarious working conditions are commonplace.
To promote the establishment of multinational union networks, EPSU invited four external speakers. Jane Lethbridge, Public Services International Research Unit, presented her research results about recent development in health and social services and big market players in Europe.
Bruno Demaître, from the European Trade Union Institute, presented step-by-step guidance concerning the construction of a European Works Council (EWCs). Kevin Thompson, of Kommunal Sweden, and Robert Textoris, from FNME-CGT France, shared their individual and very practical perspective on the work in EWCs in Capio and ENGIE.
The next meetings will take place in May and September 2017.
This meeting was organised with the financial support of the European Commission