The summit of the last chance

Thursday, October 19, 2017

On 18 October the Tripartite Social Summit – bringing together representatives from European employers, trade unions, the European Commission, Council and Presidency - took place. The Summit was an opportunity to consider the state of social Europe. Discussions covered the upcoming Gothenburg summit and the European Pillar of Social Rights; the impact of digitalization on workers, the economy and society; and the need to respect collective bargaining and the role of social dialogue. The ETUC trade union group argued that the Pillar of Social Rights should be accompanied with concrete proposals to build Social Europe, to protect and promote the interests of workers and ensure decent wages and living conditions for all. Upwards wage convergence is key, especially for workers and people in Central Eastern European countries. Trade unions expect more tangible proposals from the European Commission. Many workers are not seeing any economic recovery while bankers and many multinationals are filling their coffers with profits. Many public services are facing staff shortages, meaning   workers cannot deliver the quality of the services that people deserve. This leads to growing stress, burn-outs, and a lack of balance between professional and family life for our members. This must stop. As reported in the previous newsletter (Portugal, Spain, Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium…) we see an increase in the mobilisation of public service workers. There is little being offered by employers and governments. And is this what lies ahead for Social Europe?  A bonanza for the few and scarcity and good intentions on paper for the many ? In a few weeks there will be a the EU Social Summit in Gothenburg on the European Pillar of Social Rights. At the Tripartite Social Summit all participants underlined the importance of social progress and the role of social dialogue. EPSU expects to see concrete progress for workers’ rights and including for the millions of public service workers.