First Social Forum energy community supports focus on restructuring

(21 November 2008) The trade unions underlined a number of central issues: - We want respect for trade union rights, collective bargaining and a real process of social dialogue. - Governments should discuss the implementation of the internal market for electricity and gas with the social partners and integrate the social action plans in the national energy strategies and - The national Social Action Plans should be developed in more detail and recognise the importance of restructuring, the social acquis and energy poverty. The action plans should become more concrete. - Stop privatisation of the utilities “Public companies are needed to provided stability to the economy and deliver essential services as many citizens and businesses will be suffering the consequences of the global financial and economic crises” said EPSU’s Jan Willem Goudriaan. Public infrastructure will contribute to restore growth. EPSU affiliated energy trade unions from all countries in South East Europe participated in the First Social Forum. It brought together trade unionists, employers and government representatives. Several ministers participated as well as the European social partners and the European Commission. The main message of the Conference was that social dialogue is to be developed, restructuring to be addressed and the social acquis of the EU to be implemented. EPSU’s representative spoke at a panel and press conference. He drew attention to the Zagreb Platform of trade union demands. The conclusions of the Conference are available at the website of the Energy Community and will be addressed to the Ministerial Council taking place in December in Tirana. [>] The Zagreb Platform of trade union demands is [here->] available in English, Serbian and Russian.