Aug. 21, 2019 The Hizmet-Is public service union has been running a major campaign for the reinstatement of 97 workers sacked by the mayor of the Bolu municipality in North West Turkey. No reasons were given for the sackings and the workers have been protesting for over 110 days and even marched the 200 km to Ankara in protest. EPSU has sent a letter of protest to the mayor asking for the workers to be reinstated. See also the campaign involving Genel-Is, fighting for the rights of workers sacked by the Aliağa municipality, reported in the previous issue of the newsletter.
Aug. 21, 2019 Seven trade union organisations, including the CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA, representing 85% of all firefighters have been taking strike action to demand improvements in pay and for a significant increase in jobs. The joint actions began in June and are running until the end of August. The unions want to see the withdrawal of legislation on public service reform and a number of other measures to improve pay, health and safety, pensions and trade union rights. A key demand is an increase in recruitment on statutory conditions. There are 40000 professional firefighters. This is the same number as in 2009 but callouts have increased by 15% since then.
Aug. 08, 2019 Local government workers employed by the Aliağa Municipality in Izmir are being sacked without justification and the newly elected mayor is also forcing workers to resign from their union, Genel-İş, and to join another one. The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24 and workers have been picketing since the 20 May, demanding reinstatement and respect for trade union rights and freedoms. Online support is being coordinated by the Labourstart campaigning organisation and promoted by EPSU and PSI.
Jun. 27, 2019
Public Services unions in Inter-Americas speaking out against corporate power – a complete transformation needed
Attacks on trade union rights, the growth of corporate power and capture of the state by these companies and the impact of privatisation were among the themes discussed at the regional conference for the InterAmericas of PSI.
Jun. 21, 2019 The latest report on global trade union rights from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reveals a deterioration of workers’ rights across the world. The greatest increase in cases where workers were denied the right to establish or join a trade union was experienced in Europe where 50% of countries now exclude groups of workers, up from 20% in 2018. The report also highlights the fact that “Europe, traditionally the mainstay of collective bargaining rights, saw companies in Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain seek to undermine or circumvent workers’ rights.”
Jun. 04, 2019
President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has called for public service workers and their unions to take the lead on climate change, gender equality and a fairer economy in a keynote speech to open the Congress of EPSU in Dublin, which will run until 7th June.
May. 29, 2019 The SUEPO trade union, representing staff at the European Patent Office (EPO), says that it will take strike action in June unless management responds to a series of key demands on fair pay and fair treatment of workers. There had been a very difficult industrial relations climate at EPO for some time but with the appointment of a new president last year there was some hope for an improvement. However, a recent staff survey reveals continuing problems and more or less a continuation of the hardline management of the old regime. A ballot for strike action will have to take place by the middle of June for a strike to take place at the end of June to coincide with the EPO administrative council.
May. 23, 2019 Two groups of outsourced workers providing services to central government took strike action in the week beginning 21 May. Cleaning, catering and security staff at the Department for Business, employed by the Aramark and ISS companies, took four days of action over their demand for a living wage of GBP 10.55 (EUR 12) an hour. The same week, employees of the outsourcing company Interserve at the foreign ministry took two days of strike action. The workers, involved in facilities management, printing, portering and cleaning, are fighting for trade union recognition and defence of their rights to holiday, sickness and redundancy pay.
May. 23, 2019
EPSU has joined with the global and European doctors' organisations - WMA and CPME - in condeming the prison sentences imposed on 11 members of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) and has written to the European institutions calling for action.
May. 02, 2019
Squares, parks and streets filled with workers and union members across Europe and beyond this first of May.
May. 01, 2019 The latest issue of the Journal of International Trade Union Rights features a number of articles examining the extent to which public service workers find their rights restricted in relation to organising, collective bargaining or the right to take collective action. Nadja Salson of EPSU contributed an article highlighting two developments. First, is EPSU's legal action against the European Commission over its failure to put forward the information and consultation agreement in central government to the European Council for transposition into a directive and the second is the loophole in the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive that allows Member States to exclude public service workers from its provisions. The journal also includes an article based on the right to strike factsheets covering 34 countries and produced for EPSU by the European Trade Union Institute.
May. 01, 2019 The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has written to the President of Kyrgyzstan calling on him to withdraw the draft law on trade unions. The ITUC says that the bill conflicts with the fundamental International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 and 98 on the rights to freedom of association, to organise and collective bargaining. According to the ITUC the draft legislation also contravenes ILO Convention 144 on tripartite consultation as wells as parts of the Kyrgyz constitution. If passed, the law will undermine trade union independence and the freedom of trade unions to set their own rules and internal procedures.