Take account of our view says Gas sector to Commission: Address social consequences

(16 November 2007) The proposals of the Commission on opening up the market for gas were the main topic of discussion in the European social dialogue committee gas. The employers and trade union representatives agreed that the Commission proposals take insufficient account of the implications on employment in the gas sector. The social partners are concerned that the proposals, and especially on ownership unbundling, will contribute to worsen the job perspectives in the gas industry. Workers are at the receiving end of the Commission proposals and many are leaving due to the endless restructuring imposed on them. This raises concerns for security of supply say the social partners. They asked the Commission to take more account of their views and will seek further dialogue with the Commission.

Two joint statements adopted
The employers (represented by Eurogas) and the trade unions adopted the first two statements of the gas committee. The first concerned their joint position on the ECOTEC study on the Employment Effects of Opening up the Electricity and Gas Market.

(www.epsu.org/a/2939) This study demonstrates the negative impact. It is rather weak regarding the gas sector and the social partners demand more research.

The second statement concerns the endorsement of the inter-sectoral agreement on violence at work which was concluded between the ETUC and BusinessEurope in April 2007. The social partners state that the agreement should also be implemented in the gas sector. The sectoral social dialogue committee will follow up the implementation.
For Joint Statements, click here.

South East Europe, demograpgic change and work plan considered

The trade unions and the employers discussed further:

- The employers indicated that they had no sufficient time to consider a proposal of the trade union side for a joint statement on the follow up to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Social Aspects of the European Energy Community (South East Europe). The social partners do agree on the importance of the Social Forum and will return to the issue;
- Agreement was also reached on a joint project on demographic change and competencies. This will be introduced with the Commission for funding;
- The work plan for 2008 was adopted and is the follow up the issues referred to above;
- EPSU announced that Didier Bauer CGT-FNME would be the EPSU vice-president of the social dialogue committee.

The EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan participated in the plenary meeting of the social dialogue committee, 15 November, 2007, Brussels