The ETUC coordinated a demonstration in Strasbourg on 5 October followed by a meeting with MEPs to highlight the catastrophic consequences of huge price increases on working people and their families. The confederation is calling for decisive action from the EU and national governments including increased wages and income support, a tax on profits and a cap on prices, all covered in a six-point plan. The ETUC wants to see support for collective bargaining, increases to minimum wages and targeted emergency payments for low-paid people struggling to afford their energy bills, along with a ban on disconnections. The ETUC has also put together a calendar of events showing how its affiliates across Europe are campaigning to protect workers’ living standards.
ETUC demonstration calls for action on cost-of-living crisis
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The trade union confederations of the Czech and Slovak Republics – CMKOS and KOZ – have called national demonstrations on 8 October to call for action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. They argue that their respective governments need to undertake urgent measures to support households in the face of soaring inflation and particularly high energy costs. They want to see increases in wages in general and particularly minimum wages and assurance that government budgets will include provisions to cover pay rises in public services.
The ETUC welcomed the vote in the European Parliament on 14 September in favour of the Directive on adequate minimum wages with 505 MEPs in favour, 92 against and 44 abstentions. The directive includes important new provisions on the setting of statutory minimum wages, the role of trade unions, new requirements on governments to promote collective bargaining and the obligation to draw up action plans to support collective bargaining where coverage is below 80% of employees. The vote in the European Parliament came shortly after the ETUC published new research showing that Europe’s lowest paid
Workers in half of EU member states are denied the full statutory minimum wage because of their age, occupation or because they are workers with a disability, ETUC research has found. Age is the most common criterion with eight member states deducting up to 70% of the real rate for under-21s. Some member states also allow discrimination against seasonal workers, domestic workers, seafarers or workers with disabilities. The European Commission’s impact assessment of its draft directive on adequate minimum wages states that, rather than facilitating access to the labour market, variations from