Skills, CSR, Energy Road Map on agenda – concerns about state of social dialogue

(13 September 2011) The trade union delegation underlined their concerns about the general situation of social dialogue in Europe. In several countries governments allow collective agreements to be opened up, abolish sectoral agreements and weaken trade union representation at the work place, Actions were taking place against such labour code reform in Hungary 12 September. The weakening of the national mechanisms for social dialogue will also impact on the European social dialogue both in terms of input and as regards feedback and possibilities to implement positions or agreements. The Commission is implicated as it promotes decentralization and flexibility for example in the Euro-Pact and Annual Growth Survey. It does not oppose or question the attacks on workers’ rights. This puts in question the European social dialogue. Both the employers and trade union side underline the importance of the social dialogue between the employers and the trade unions,

- A joint project of the social partners to map the existing national bodies and organizations that deal with labour market research, training and qualifications and skills has received funding from the European Commission. The next step is to tender out the study.
- A presentation was made on the results of a survey the social partners had undertaken on Corporate social responsibility. Policies, agreements and reporting on equality and diversity, health and safety, management of change, skills and CSR itself showed differences in attention and intensity. The survey did not allow to identify the quality of the policies and did not answer why certain policies were pursued differently. The trade union side proposed to develop a project to explore CSR further. This will be further pursued in the presidency meeting of the social dialogue meeting.
- The trade union side proposed the text of a joint contribution to the discussion on the Energy roadmaps. Eurogas will reflect further. The Communication of the Commission on the Energy roadmaps 2050 is expected for Mid October.
- The social partners agreed a joint contribution for the 4th Social Forum of the Energy Community.They will underline the importance of social dialogue and that the study on the employment effects of the opening of the internal market for electricity and gas of the Energy Community countries (CAN YOU LINK THE STUDY TO THIS – AVAILABLE UNDER r/239 I think) needs to be addressed at national level.

The meeting took place on12 September 2011, Brussels. An EPSU delegation with representatives from Czech republic, France, Romania and Slovakia. Didier Baur (CGT-FNME) holds the vice-presidency of the gas committee for EPSU. EPSU’s Deputy General Secretary participated. The next meeting is foreseen for 15 November 2011 (plenary).

A previous report of the social dialogue committee is available here (11 April 2011)