Alongside action by the CGIL and UIL confederations, the CISL trade union confederation is planning a national protest in Rome on 25 November over the government’s budget for 2024 and its refusal to engage with the trade unions. Together with demands for increased funding for public services, CISL wants to see action on staffing and measures to reduce precarious work. It also wants the government to commit to negotiating new collective agreements in the public sector. The mobilisations by UIL and CGIL continue with regional stoppages planned for 24 and 27 November and 1 December.
Collective bargaining – trends and developments
Collective bargaining is a core activity of trade unions and EPSU’s affiliates negotiate with public service employers at every level. This can range from national public-sector wide bargaining to sector and local negotiations with public sector employers but also private and non-profit providers of public services. EPSU works with the European Trade Union Confederation to try to improve collective bargaining rights for all workers across Europe. We also act as a European information point so that EPSU affiliates are aware of trends in public service negotiations. EPSU’s collective bargaining newsletter provides regular updates on developments across Europe.
The International Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the decision of the governing body of the International Labour Organisation to refer the question of the right to strike to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). There has been a a long-standing dispute between workers’ and employers’ representatives related to the right to strike and the extent to which it derives from the ILO conventions on the freedom of association (87) and the rights to organise and collective bargaining (98). The issue will now be addressed by the ICJ and the ITUC hopes this will unblock the impasse that has
The JHL public service union is organising a series of one-day political strikes as part of the continuing campaign by the trade union movement in protest against government policy. The unions are challenging government proposals on changes to welfare and employment rights and threats to weaken the right to strike and impose restrictions on pay bargaining. The strikes will hit different regions over the three-day period 7-9 November. A range of services will be affected including sports facilities, waste services, laundry and catering services, public transport and energy. So far the
The FP-CGIL, UIL-FPL and UIL-PA public service federations are coordinating strike action on 17 November as part of a series of strikes and protests organised by the CGIL and UIL confederations. The unions are angry about government economic and social policy, the proposed state budget for 2024 and the refusal of the government to consult with unions. The public service strike will be followed by action in other sectors on 20, 24 and 27 November and 1 December. There was also a one-day strike by FP-CGIL and UIL-PA members at the INL National Labour Inspectorate on 30 October. This was part of
The vpod/ssp public service union is having a busy autumn with a wide range of actions around the country as it increases its efforts to protect and improve pay. Public service workers in Bern had a pay increase of only 0.5% in 2023 and have been offered only 2% for 2024, ignoring union protests and a petition with 16,195 signatures. A further petition will be handed over on 16 November and action is planned for 4 December. In Dübendorf, over 70% of the permanent workforce signed a petition calling for a fair and transparent wage system and cost-of-living adjustment for 2023. The vpod in
Using figures from the Eurostat statistics agency, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) shows that the price of the most basic food stuffs is still rising up to seven times faster than wages. The price of olive oil is 75% higher than it was in January 2021, while there have been substantial increases in the price of potatoes (53%), eggs (37%) and butter (27%). By contrast, the ETUC shows that nominal wages have increased by 11% in the EU and 10% in the Euro area over the last three years. The confederation has also challenged the International Monetary Fund over its analysis of wages
The Eurofound research agency regularly carries out surveys of cross-sector and sector European trade union employer organisations to confirm their representativeness for the European social dialogue. Its latest report on the cross-sector level provides an overview of the ETUC in the European Union where it has 74 affiliated organisations in all EU27 countries, of which 62 are recognised as representative at national level. The 74 ETUC members represent some 37 million trade union members, that is, approximately 22% of all employees in the EU27 and about 80% of all trade union members. The
The three public service federations Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Fpl coordinated a one-day strike on 27 September against the AIOP private health and social care employers’ organisation in protest at its refusal to negotiate with them and to negotiate instead with the unrepresentative UGL trade union. The federations issued the strike warning back in July after conciliation failed to resolve the dispute with AIOP and since then the employers have failed to return to negotiations. The three federations will also mobilise during the day to put pressure on regional health authorities to take action
The Eurofound research agency has published a new analysis of trends in sector collective bargaining as negotiators respond to the challenge of rising inflation. It found that collectively negotiated wages in 2022 did not reflect the rising cost of living, resulting in further purchasing power losses for employees. The study focused on four sectors – chemical and pharmaceutical, metalworking, and hospitality and domestic work – in France, Germany and Italy where wages have mostly been growing slower than inflation. It notes the positive impact of increases in statutory minimum wages
The three national trade union confederations – SAK, STTK and AKAVA – are extremely concerned about the new centre-right coalition government’s wide-ranging programme of attacks on trade union and workers’ rights and are planning events and protests in response. The government, which includes representatives of the far-right Finns Party is planning to impose restrictions on sympathetic and political strike action, a €200 fine for individual strikers when a strike is found to be illegal and a dramatic increase in fines on trade union for illegal action. It is also likely that further
The CGIL trade union confederation is organising a national demonstration in Rome on 7 October calling for a wide range of measures in support of workers and collective bargaining and in defence of the welfare state. CGIL is demanding higher pay and pensions to address the increased cost of living along with action to renew collective agreements and legislation to block the signing of agreements by unrepresentative worker organisations. The confederation is also calling for action to eliminate the gender pay gap and the introduction of a minimum hourly wage. The CGIL’s other demands cover
The ver.di trade union is running two weeks of action as part of its campaign to secure equal rights for workers employed by church organisations. Between 25 September and 6 October, union members will be out promoting the campaign petition with the aim of securing 4000 signatures. Currently church-based employers like the Diakonie and Caritas, organisations that employ hundreds of thousands of health and care workers, have special treatment under the law in relation to co-determination, collective bargaining and the right to strike. Ver.di wants this changed so that all workers have the same