The European Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the decision by member states to support the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive that it says will help ensure that millions of workers across Europe get fairer wages and improved rights to collective bargaining. The directive is now set for a final sign-off by MEPs and ministers in September. The proposal includes a framework for setting adequate statutory minimum wages and a duty on member states to promote collective bargaining and combat union busting and to produce an action plan to support collective bargaining in states where coverage is
Low pay/minimum wages, Energy
The trilogue negotiations between the European Commission, Council and Parliament have produced a provisional agreement on the Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages. It is now up to the Council and Parliament to vote on the proposal with the prospect that the Directive might be law by the autumn. The ETUC believes that the directive’s provisions on both statutory minimum wages and collective bargaining could be game changing, delivering not just vital increases for millions of workers who are facing surging prices but new rights and possibilities for trade unions to strengthen and extend
The FNV trade union has negotiated a new collective agreement with the national grid operator TenneT that provides for a 4.3% pay increase over 16 months, backdated to 1 May. The union reports that the negotiations went smoothly, with the employer recognising the need to respond to rising inflation to remain an attractive employer. There is a structural wage increase of 3.1% and a one-off payment of 1.2%. From 2023, TenneT's employees will get 5 May off each year as opposed to enjoying the official holiday only once every five years. The agreement runs from 1 May 2022 to 1 September 2023. In
The energy federations of the CGT, CFDT, FO and CFE-CGC report widespread and strong support for their strike action on 2 June. The unions want energy sector employers to agree to immediate negotiations over pay. The unions regard the 0.3% pay increase implemented in January of this year as completely unacceptable and that an immediate increase of 4.5% is needed to help compensate for increased prices but negotiations are also needed to address several years of below-inflation pay rises. The unions issued a joint statement indicating the strength of feeling among workers and the unions’ clear
Trade unions in the energy sector are planning strike action on Thursday 2 June over the erosion of purchasing power of their members. In a joint statement, they criticise the employers in the sector for failing to agree a timetable to negotiate and for applying an increase of only 0.3% on the basic national salary in January this year when inflation was already at 4.5%. The unions also highlight the fact that energy sector pay has not kept pace with inflation over many years and they are demanding an immediate increase of 4.5%.
The STAL municipal workers’ union joined others in the Common Front group of public service unions in a national demonstration on 20 May in Lisbon. The main call was for government action to protect the purchasing power of workers in public administration. The unions argue that 12 years of wage stagnation has seen purchasing power fall by 15.4% and that the proposed pay increase of 0.9% for this year will again mean a significant cut in real pay as prices of food, energy and fuel surge. The unions also want to see a €90 a month rise for all workers, a minimum monthly wage of €850 along with
Municipal unions are pushing for the right to full-time work across the sector to tackle what they see as excessive use of part-time contracts. The FOA trade union has calculated the financial implications of full-time (37 hours a week) work for different occupations working different hours. For example, a social and health care assistant, who today is 41 years old, can increase their lifetime income (including all allowances and pensions) by DKK 5.3 million (over €700,000) by working full-time instead of 25 hours. Even older workers would see a real difference with a 51-year-old cleaner able
Members of the FNV, NU’91 and other unions have endorsed the new collective agreement covering around 190000 workers in disability care that is backdated and runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 January 2024. There is a 2.2% pay rise as from 1 May 2022 but with an €85 minimum increase and with also a commitment to a minimum hourly rate of €13.00. This means a 5% increase for the lowest paid. On 1 May 2023 there will be a further increase of 3.2%. The agreement also provides for hours reductions for older workers to encourage them to stay at work longer and measures to address the needs of women
EPSU’s Pan-European Conference on Public Utilities is back! Join us online on Tuesday, 10 May 2022 for the opening proceedings and a panel discussion on an issue that is only becoming more important: rising energy prices, and how unions can take action.