On November 26, workers in the French multinational electric utility companies ENGIE and EDF are mobilising to defend the future of their jobs, the public energy sector and to demand the suspension of the companies’ current restructuring projects.
On 26 November, unions in the multinational energy companies ENGIE and EDF mobilised to defend jobs and the public energy sector, demanding the suspension of the companies’ restructuring projects. The unions argue that, if implemented, the plans will endanger both the future of employees and the French energy sector with little consideration of the disastrous social consequences. EPSU sent a message of solidarity for the action. Joint communique (FR)
Energy unions are facing challenges on several fronts. Leading gas company Centrica has faced major criticism from unions - GMB, UNISON, Unite and Prospect - when it followed up an announcement of 5000 job cuts with a plan to sack and re-hire 20000 staff on worse terms and conditions. The GMB union has already had a consultative ballot which showed 95% support for strike action and so a formal ballot will be undertaken. Meanwhile the GMB members at Northern Gas Networks have voted 98% in favour of industrial action on pay while Unite members at the Drax energy company have been balloted over
The four unions representing workers in France's main energy company EDF - FNME-CGT, FNEM-FO, CFE-CGC and CFDT Chimie Energie - are continuing their joint actions in protest against the plans for major restructuring and privatisation of the company. After the widely supported strike action on 19 September, the unions have launched a petition and are planning a further day of strike action on 17 October.
Eight public service trade union federations - CFDT, CFTC, CGT, FA, FO, FSU, SOLIDAIRES and UNSA - have issued a joint statement reiterating their opposition to the new law on transforming public services. The unions wanted to see a universal public service, accessible to all and fully staffed with workers protected by statutes. They also want to retain the key committees that help ensure equal treatment and health and safety. Implementation of the law will require consultation over a wide range of issues but the unions are insistent that there should be a proper process of social dialogue and
Social partnership solutions and good practice models to reduce psychosocial risks and burdens in health care
EPSU has supported a transnational project involving EPSU affiliates from six countries to promote social partnership solutions and good practice models to reduce psychosocial risks and burdens in health care.
The LVSADA health union has managed to negotiate an agreement to tackle problems arising from a restructuring of the ambulance service. A reduction of night shifts meant an increase in waiting times particularly in the Latgale, Vidzeme and Zemgale regions, creating problems for staff and difficulties for patients. The union formally announced a dispute with the ambulance service management, highlighting the constitutional commitment to emergency medical care as a human right. However, it was possible to resolve the situation before the union took any action.
Workers at the Aguas de Portugal (AdP) water company are considering strike action if a number of key demands are not met. Apart from improvements in pay and career development, the workers want to see a progressive reduction in working hours and measures to address the fact that restructuring of the company has lead to many workers being on different rates of pay despite having the same length of service and responsibilities. Unions mobilised on the 27 March to put pressure on management which has so far failed to address these issues.
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.
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
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
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.
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