Security forces have detained and used violence against peaceful demonstrators in Belarus who are protesting the outcome of the country’s fraudulent presidential election.
A summer we will remember
Due to the Corona pandemic it is a strange summer for many. For workers in health and care the challenge of dealing with COVID19 patients remains prevalent. Several affiliates report that workers face exhaustion. The number of cases of infected and hospitalized workers is increasing again in several countries, including here in Belgium. And again care homes face a heavy burden.The infection of workers and residents shows many employers and governments are not really ready for a new wave.
EU budget and Recovery Fund
It was therefore disappointing that the European Council did not agree substantial funding for the EU4health programme as part of the EU budget. That programme would have helped assist countries whose health care systems are facing severe pressure in dealing with the pandemic. We will continue campaigning with ETUC and others to convince the European Parliament to restore the funding. Many MEPs have indicated their support. Positive is that the Member States have approved the recovery fund. Unemployment is rising fast and measures to assist people to keep their job and to create new jobs are urgently needed.
Beirut and Belarus
This summer will not only be marked by the pandemic. The awful explosion in Beirut will be etched in our memories. The damage is enormous. Members of PSI affiliates lost their lives. Please do not forget to donate to the solidarity fund PSI has established. The unions need our support. More information is available in this newsletter.
We will also not forget the workers of the Belarusian company MZKT shouting to Lukashenko that he should go - “УХОДЍ”. To maintain in power he rigged the elections on Sunday 9 August. People did not accept this, came to the streets and his security forces brutally intervened. And that made many more people angry, leading first to women coming out in white with long human chains demanding an end to the violence. It was a prelude to the largest demonstration in Belarusian history on 16 August. It started a wave of strikes supported by the independent confederation BKDP. Its members have faced repression and arrest. The European trade unions support the Belarusian people’s demand to have free elections. The result of the struggle is not known yet. It does show that there is tremendous power in a people united.
Consultation on Fair Minimum Wages
Maybe less noticed but one of the largest consultations in the EU is taking place this summer. Unions representing 45 million workers are asked to approve or reject the response of the ETUC to the European Commission’s 2nd phase consultation on fair minimum wages. Many unions are discussing their reply in union bodies and in their confederations. The deadline is tight. EPSU affiliates are to respond by 1 September. Please do not forget to send us your response so we can formulate the EPSU position.
And whatever you are doing or wherever you are going during the rest of the summer - Keep Healthy and Stay Safe.
The newly published Guide for Trade Unionists on Adaptation to Climate Change and the world of work identifies public utilities and emergency and other public services as two of the sectors in the EU to be most impacted by climate change.
PSI staff and affiliates in Lebanon are still in shock following the explosion on 4th August which caused widespread damage across Beirut, leaving over 150 people dead and 5,000 injured. 300,000 people remain homeless.
EPSU supports demands of European Civil Society for a more ambitious European Union Multi-annual Financial Framework
EPSU supports a call for a more ambitious financial agreement, taking account of the concerns of civil society and people in Europe.
Seventy-five years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Stop nuclear weapons and support Treaty to ban them
A United States B-29 warplane dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in the morning of August 6, 1945. Several days later Nagasaki was bombed.
Apple allowed to have its cake and eat it: EPSU regrets Court decision to wipe high-tech giant’s fine of €14bn
On 15 July, the General Court annulled the European Commission’s biggest ever fine in a state aid case. In 2016, the Commission considered that a tax rebate (via tax rulings) granted by the Irish government to Apple was state aid, and therefore illegal.
Joint Statement on the 10th anniversary of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work
A decade ago, the European Sectoral Social Partners, EPSU, UNI EUROPA, ETUCE, HOSPEEM, CEMR, EFEE, EuroCommerce, CoESS identified third-party violence and harassment at the workplace as one of the key health and safety challenges to face within the European Economic Area