Utilities (PUT): a key driver for sustainable development

The Utilities sector faces many structural changes due to global developments, regulatory decisions and technological innovation and also the way public authorities and employers react to these changes. They affect work places and impact on workers, their families and communities. EPSU re-affirms that infrastructure for public services should be publicly funded and operated. Public authorities should monitor and evaluate the performance of public service operators. EPSU calls for existing collective bargaining, social and environmental standards to be maintained when remunicipalisation or privatisation takes place. Changes in ownership must not lead to cuts in jobs and training places, pay and working conditions must not deteriorate and company pension schemes must be protected. Workplace or company-based schemes for representation of interests must not be adversely affected. The economic viability of existing undertakings that have proved their worth must be secured.

EPSU will work to ensure that public service principles and values are part of European policies on environmental services, such as water, waste and energy. Tracking company policies, mergers and take-overs and establishing further European work councils in cooperation with affiliated unions will be important to promote and defend workers interests in multinational corporations. Climate change and access to energy remains a key issue and a particular challenge for the sector. Utilities play a prominent role to achieve a sustainable society.

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