COVID-19, Precarious employment
Proposals to reform the labour code have been criticised by a range of trade union and student organisations. The CGT and FO confederations were joined by thousands of students in protests on 9 March calling for he withdrawal of the planned changes. Other union organisations, including the CFDT and UNSA, are pushing for changes to the reforms, particuarly in relation to measures that will make it easier for employers to carry out redundancies. They plan to mobilise for 12 March and warn of further action if the government doesn't make the necessary changes.
(January 2017) There was strong support for a health workers' strike on 20 January with unions calling for action on pay, career development and the application of the 35-hour week for all public service workers. On 3 February non-teaching staff in schools and kindergartens plan a 24-hour strike with demands to tackle precarious employment, to increase recruitment and create a proper career structure.
(January 2017) White-collar union Vision has set out its main bargaining demands in its negotiations with the KFS organisation for local enterprises. The union wants to see competitive salaries and action to improve well-being at work. It also wants employees to be on permanent contracts with employers providing objective justifications for any use of fixed-term contracts of agency staff. Longer paid holidays, individual working time accounts and shorter hours for workers in establishment requiring 24-hour cover are also among the demands.
(March 2017) A new report, produced jointly by the European Commission and the International Labour Organisation, shows that European countries with coordinated bargaining systems have managed to prevent the growth of inequalities on the labour market. At the same time the erosion of collective bargaining in other EU member states has led to more low-paid jobs or increasing inequality among the workforce. The report also looks at a range of other inequalities such as in working time, training etc.
(March 2017) The waste and environment section of the FNV trade union highlights the findings of a recent report that found more than a third of workers (34%) in the waste sector working on precarious contracts. The union stresses in particular that this raises serious safety issues. There are problems of ensuring that agency workers, for example, get all the appropriate protective clothing and appropriate training. The union also argues, as in a recent case, that precarious workers are more likely to be involved in workplace accidents, often taking too many risks in trying to show they are
(March 2017 ) The vpod public services union has a special network set up four years ago campaigning for better protection for migrant care workers. The union argues that the federal government is well aware of the level of exploitation of this group of workers but has failed to take any measures to regulate this area of work. Recent press reports have highlighted the situation facing care workers and the lack of legal protection.
(April 2017) Public sector trade union federations have signed an historic agreement with the government that will see a massive reduction in precarious employment across the public sector. The deal means that over 300000 workers currently on some form of fixed-term employment will have the chance to move onto a permanent contract over the next three years. This is the result of the first major negotiations with the government since 2010. The unions underlined that they are still looking for an agreement on pay increases over the coming years that will compensate for the 15% loss of purchasing
(April 2017) The FNV union has criticised municipalities for making excessive use of temporary contracts and says it will make this a priority issue in upcoming negotiations. The union reports that four out of five temporary workers wants a permanent contract while over half say they are not paid the same as permanent workers doing the same job. Around 60% also say they don't get the same training opportunities.
(April 2017) Beginning this month the municipal services union Kommunal will be investigating the employment and working conditions of cleaners, looking at their employment status, working hours as well as health and safety problems. The union will carry out a survey as well as making workplace visits to talk to workers and assess how they are affected by what are often seen as the main problems facing the sector - the impact of privatisation, lack of control over work - but also good examples where workers do have more control over working time and other working conditions.
European Action Day Against the Commercialisation, Marketisation and Privatisation of Health Care - 07.04.2017
EPSU will be involved in activities for the 2nd European Action Day against the impacts of privatisation, marketisation and commercialisation of health and social care on 7 April.
(May 2017) A new report from the ETUI research institute explodes the myth that deregulation of employment protection legislation creates either economic growth or an increase in jobs. The report examines evidence from 10 countries (Spain, Italy, Estonia, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, France, Denmark, and the UK) and shows that the main impact in these measures has been the spread of precarious employment conditions.