EPSU meets to discuss at an important political moment!

Tuesday, 30 October, 2018

With the election of the extreme-rightwing Bolsonaro to President of Brazil, we have another man leading a major country talking down women, attacking people from the LGTB community, scapegoating others and so much more as the New York Times wrote.  But such hate speech has consequences as Amnesty points out in concern. It opens space in which certain things become accepted, also in European countries. A very recent example is the anti-Semitic online attack on an organizer of EPSU affiliate GMB following the successful strike of women in Glasgow. And we are saying loud and clear with the GMB and others, this is not acceptable. Those men surf into power over the anger of people with corruption, including tax fraud and tax evasion of major corporations that has not been properly addressed. Lack of funding for public services leading to a crippling infrastructure and degrading services is being cited a one factor in Brazil, as it is in other countries, for support. This anger is present in Europe and the years of austerity have contributed. There is however an alternative to the authoritarian way. It is our way: with solidarity, redistribution of wealth and power, investment in public services and our communities, with workplace democracy and strong workers’ and trade union rights. With our Brazilian comrades we will continue our struggle – A Luta Continua – for that alternative   

We have had busy weeks in which  our Standing Committees have met, an issue well covered in some detail in this newsletter. It is impressive and we can do so much by working together.

Finally, the results of the vote on the Human Right to Water in the European Parliament showed that conservative and right-wing political forces were isolated in their opposition to make real progress. And it would be great for working men and women, for all of us, if these forces were to lose their majority at the European elections next May. These elections do matter. Legislation currently going through the Parliament could ensure that all workers in the EU benefit from the protection of EU minimum standards for their employment contracts. However, right-wing parties are trying to water down this protection, or even seeking to limit its scope by calling for the exclusion of workers in the police, army and emergency services. If they have their way, it would allow employers to continue their exploiting workers with precarious contracts. We will call upon you to help us to defeat this in the European Parliament.