On 6 April 2018 SIPTU organised in Dublin the seminar "Meeting the Challenges – Winning Respect". It brought together about 40 members and workers’ representatives working in the National Ambulance Service.
Standing up for workers’ interests – in small and larger ways
The results of the Hungarian parliamentary elections brought back its authoritarian prime minister Orban with close to 50% of the votes and a large majority in Parliament Sunday 8th April. The main opposition is the extreme right wing party Jobbik. The observers of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O.S.C.E) said that Fidesz had used the resources of the state on a “very large” scale to assist its chances of winning. The head of the mission of the OSCE claimed that intimidation, xenophobic rhetoric, media bias and opaque campaign financing reduced the space for political debate. One of the first measures of the new government is announced to be a crackdown on the organisations that criticise the government’s anti-migration policies. This can easily spill over in attacks on other organisations including unions. Working with the Hungarian affiliates will be very important these next years.
We also need a European Commission that will defend European values and democratic processes especially against such authoritarian governments. It should hence be exemplary itself. The decision on the social partner agreement lacks all of those elements. It undermines trust in the Commission at a time we need it.
Such things do matter as it casts a shadow over the work of the European Commission and its staff abroad. It make them less effective in standing up to political interference. Our Macedonian colleagues in the public energy company ELEM are the target of management attacks such as captive meetings in which union members are asked to become members of an alternative yellow union. Political interference is suspected. We are supporting the union to defend its members and seek change.
Workers across Europe are fighting for pay increases. Let us know of your actions. Our solidarity is with all of you involved in struggle for better pay and conditions. And lastly, 23 April European and global unions are called upon to take action in support of Lula the former President and trade union leader in Brazil, jailed on trumped up charges to prevent him representing workers’ and poor people’s interests. Please be in touch with your national centres to join the actions organized.
Meeting the EPSU Russian affiliates, and together reflecting on the tensions between the EU, US and Russia, the EPSU General Secretary stressed the importance of focusing on our common issues and interests as workers and trade unions, 4 April Moscow.
Central administration workers debate the European Commission's block on the information and consultation agreement
The main issue on the agenda of the Standing Committee on National and European Administration was the European Commission’s refusal to implement by a legislative proposal to Council the social partner agreement on Information on Consultation rights.
Localising the European Semester - joint social dialogue project in the local and regional government sector
The European Semester provides a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union.
Local government meeting covers Congress preparations, European social dialogue, digitalisation and socially responsible public procurement
Public procurement is a key priority for the local and regional government sector.
On 13th March, over 40 trade union representatives from all over Europe took part in EPSU’s Social Services Working Group which met to discuss a number of issues that are key to defend and protect the rights, terms and conditions and dignity of workers in the sector.
Standing committee comes together to fight for public ownership, the democratic control of utilities and the right to water
During the standing committee on Utilities, which took place on 22 March, several key issues were addressed by EPSU and its affiliates.
Interview with Satoko Kishimoto, campaigner, on remunicipalisation, PPPs and the values of public services
EPSU and affiliates contributed to the book Reclaiming public services. How cities and citizens are turning back privatization. We worked closely with campaigner and editor Satoko Kishimoto of Transnational Institute (TNI)