Thousands of trade unionists took to the streets of Kiev again on 7 October in their long-running campaign against government proposals for labour reforms. The legal changes have been condemned by the international trade union movement and clearly contravene key International Labour Organisation conventions. The demonstration was also used to call for a range of measures including increases to the minimum wage and social benefits.
Union Rights, Low pay/minimum wages
The ITUC global trade union confederation has noted the significance of the recent award of the Nobel prize for economics to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens. Their key research in the 1990s demonstrated that higher minimum wages do not mean fewer jobs, providing a powerful counter-argument to the often heard claims of employers and many governments about the negative effects of minimum wages. The ITUC argues that this prize is a serious indictment of many economists in that it has taken some 30 years for the facts to be given prominence over a damaging and groundless idea. It added
An ETUC analysis shows that almost three million people low-paid workers across Europe can’t afford to heat their homes. The ETUC estimates that even before expected further increases in energy prices 15% of Europe’s working poor won’t be able to turn on the heating – equivalent to 2,713,578 people across Europe. The analysis also shows that the situation has deteriorated in 10 EU member states over the last decade. With the directive on adequate minimum wages now being discussed in the European Council and Parliament, the ETUC argues that energy price rises make strong EU action on wages even
On 14-15 September the first regional seminar of a two-year project on trade union rights took place with participants from across the Mediterranean region. The project is being run jointly by EPSU and the European federations representing police (EuroCOP) and military personnel (EUROMIL). There were contributions from experts from the ETUC and International Labour Organisation and an exchange on the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive which includes an article providing member states with the possibility of excluding a large group of public service workers from its
Some public service federations will be joining their private sector colleagues in a national demonstration on 5 October calling for an increase in salaries and the minimum wage. The unions note that private company profits are surging along with dividends to shareholders while workers are facing higher prices, not least for energy. In the public sector, workers are facing another year of a freeze on the index that determines salary levels with the government again having to adjust the lowest salary levels just to ensure that they don’t fall below the minimum wage.
Public service trade unionists from across the Mediterranean region met online last week (14-15 September) to discuss the challenges they face in asserting their fundamental rights to organise, negotiate and take strike action.
EPSU is supporting the call by the international and European trade union confederations – ITUC and ETUC – for parliament to suspend the current discussion on labour law reform. The international trade union movement is backing the Ukrainian unions in their long-running campaign to block the reforms and to start a proper process of consultation with trade unions. Analysis of a number of draft laws shows that they are incompatible with International Labour Organisation conventions and EU social legislation, undermining workers’ basic employment rights as well as working time and health and
The International Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the decision by the president of Kyrgyzstan to veto a new law on trade unions. The law was drafted by the Parliament without properly consulting unions or the International Labour Organization (ILO). It flies in the face of core labour standards, including ILO Conventions 87 and 98 covering freedom of association, freedom to organise and the right to collective bargaining. The ITUC says that it is the third time in two years that they have had to ask the president to veto a draft anti-worker law and its now insisting that unions and the
EPSU calls on Ukrainian parliament and government to address trade union concerns over Labour law reform
The Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkovna Rada, is considering reform of the labour law. Many of its amendments would be regressive for workers’ rights and would not be compatible with international labour standards.
The 2019 Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive introduces a range of new or enhanced rights for millions of workers across Europe. Member States have until August 2022 to transpose the Directive into national legislation and the European Commission has just published its expert group report. This is not binding but covers the points raised in the group by representatives of national governments and other experts. The main issue for EPSU is the provision that gives member states the possibility to exclude certain public service workers from Chapter III of the directive which