TRACE – Trade Unions Anticipating Change in Europe – is a EU-funded project coordinated by the ETUI-REHSEducation department on behalf of national trade union confederations and European industry federations affiliated to the ETUC – the European Trade Union Confederation. The focus for everyone is on restructuring, adapted to the needs of different countries and sectors.
(February 2017) The FP-CGIL public services federation has called on the government to stop the planned reorganisation of the fire service and to consult properly with the unions about any proposals to change the role and organisation of the service and the pay and working conditions of employees. The union says that the government has ignored the opinitons of the union over plans to restructure the service and reduce its autonomy by giving a role to the local prefecture.
(March 2017) A policy brief from the European Trade Union Institute examines the role of European works councils (EWCs) in restructuring. It finds that not only is there a problem ensuring that existing EWCs play a full role in the information and consultation process but that a significant number of major restructuring are carried out where there are no EWCs. The briefing highlights the need for better rights for EWCs as well as for a stronger role for trade unoins.
(March 2017) The FP-CGIL public service federation reports that it has made some gains in the current negotiations over pay and reforms to the fire service. An EUR 80 a month pay increase will be implemented while the union will continue to negotiate a new collective agreement. The federation has also had some influence of the restructuring proposals put forward by the government and is particularly please that the fire service will retain some autonomy and not come under the control of the local prefecture.
(June 2017) Employees of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have been taking strike action as part of a rolling campaign that has covered offices in Glasgow, Cardiff and, in the latest stage, Manchester. The strikes are in protest at budget and job cuts in the organisation as well as staff dismissals. The main union involved, PCS, has said that it is astonishing that the EHRC hasn't even carried out an equality impact assessment of the job cuts. Film director Ken Loach has sent his solidarity greetings to the strikers.
(July 2017) The three public service federations - FP CGIL, CISL FP and UIL FPL - organised a joint mobilisation on 3rd July outside the offices of the Ministry of Labour to call for action over the future of employment centres across the country. The unions are calling for guarantees for the workers in these centres in terms of jobs and wages as well as proper investment in the provision of employment services to citizens. Around 8000 permanent staff and 2000 temporary workers are affected by the uncertainty facing the centres.
(July 2017) Four unions at the Veolia water company took strike action on 3 July in a protest at the company's announcement of a plan for job cuts. The unions have called for negotiation of a proper plan for training and retraining and have rejected compulory redundancies with a call to defend local jobs. The unions involved in include the CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC and UNSA.
After the recent success of public service union UNISON in getting the courts to end the government's policy to charge workers for the right to take employment tribunal cases, UNISON and the PCS civil service union have celebrated two further court victories. UNISON's second success came in another landmark case that will effectively require employers to consult over workplace restructuring such as redundancies. The PCS victory was in a judicial review of government cuts to the civil service pension scheme which the government now has to withdraw.
After lengthy negotations, services union ver.di has endorsed a new agreement with the Uniper energy company that it will put to its members over the coming weeks. Key elements of the deal are commitments to no compulsory redundancies and to an early retirement scheme, seen by ver.di as important for the company's coal-powered operations that will face restructuring. This part of the agreement will run to 2022 while the long-term pay deal will run to 2024. The union prevented the company from cutting bonuses like Christmas pay but performance pay will be ended. In 2018 workers will get a lump
Unions at the Veolia water company have announced strike action in protest at the company's latest plans for restructuring, the fourth in three years. The unions are angry that a further 572 jobs are due to go by 2019 after 2000 have already been cut since 2014. They are particularly concerned that this time the company has not ruled out compulsory redundancies which the unions say would be the first for the sector. The unions say the cuts aren't justified in terms of the company's economic performance and they want the company to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and begin a
Trade unions at the Veolia water company are taking strike action over the company's plans for restructuring - the fourth in only three years. These will impact on over 1500 posts with 572 specified as job cuts. The unions are particularly angry that the company is talking about compulsory redundancies. This would be a first for the sector. The unions want the company to withdraw this threat and to properly negotiate over the changes with a view to providing workers with training and retraining opportunities.
The three health federations - FP CGIL, CISL FP and UIL FPL - have said they will mobilise workers and the community to prevent the threatened outsourcing of nursing and auxiliary jobs at the Umberto I university hospital in Rome. The federations have strongly condemned the proposal that could affect 700 workers, including nurses who work in intensive care and specialist departments most of whom have been at the hospital for many years. The federations also attacked the complete failure of the hospital to consult or negotiate with the trade unions and warned that workers' pay could fall by up
Around 5000 employees of the Paracelsus health company found out just before Christmas that the firm was insolvent. Their trade union, ver.di, said it was a bad day for both workers and patients and blamed mismanagement for the failure. The union said that workers had foregone their Christmas bonuses in 2013 and 2014 but the company had failed to deliver on the new investment promised at the time. This year the collective bargaining committee had refused to give up the bonus but the failure of the company to pay it in November was an early indication of the problems ahead. Ver.di has called on
Workers across the public and private sectors took four hours of strike action on 17 December to call for government action to resolve a crisis that could lead to 1750 job losses at the TEVA pharmaceuticals multinational in Israel, part of a plan to cut 14000 jobs worldwide. The action was called by the Histadrut confederation which says that the company had benefited from favourable tax arrangements and that the government should intervene to protect the workers whose jobs are under threat.