Skills, CSR, employment, South East European energy community discussed in electricity social dialogue

(27 May 2013) Agreement was reached to continue exploring the establishment of a sector skill council in the electricity sector which can respond to developments on the labour market, new technologies and innovation and transition to a decarbonised power sector. The social partners will consider the possibilities of a project setting out which conditions needs to be fulfilled to engage.

The social partners also agreed to set up a working group to reflect on the review and updating of the statement on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of 2009 following the presentation of SOMO on a critical study on the reporting of companies. The discussion should also take account of the proposal of the European Commission for a directive on the disclosure of non-financial information

A presentation was made of the recent collective agreement by the employers and the trade unions of the electricity network companies in the Netherlands. The agreement is based on a long-term vision on the development of the sector, the labour market and society. It takes account of forthcoming shortages on the labour market, new forms of working and leadership in the company. This inspired the employers and the trade unions when developing a new collective agreement which is available at The agreement sets out funding for training and education and for individual budgets. Central to the process of coming to the new vision was the respect of employers for the collective agreement and the social dialogue as the instruments of developing the joint views together. The discussion was heated and included what changes are possible to the capitalist system in which company CEOs put profit before workers. Trade union representatives expressed their concerns that what they experience is employers walking away from collective agreements and social dialogue and governments actively seeking to undermine the role and place of trade unions through changes in labour legislation. The social partners will consider what possibilities there are for the European Social Dialogue in such situations.

A report was given on the last meeting of the Social Forum of the South East European Energy Community. The social dialogue committee confirmed its position that a social dialogue needs to be developed linked with the energy community. It will seek a discussion with the responsible bodies for this.

The committee was informed that the employment study of DG Energy was on its way. A workshop will be organized to which the social partners should also be invited.

EPSU representatives from Estonia, France, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Roumania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and UK participated as weel as the EPSU Deputy General Secretary. The meeting took place on 24 May 2013 in Brussels.

- For a report of the previous meeting