After lengthy negotations, services union ver.di has endorsed a new agreement with the Uniper energy company that it will put to its members over the coming weeks. Key elements of the deal are commitments to no compulsory redundancies and to an early retirement scheme, seen by ver.di as important for the company's coal-powered operations that will face restructuring. This part of the agreement will run to 2022 while the long-term pay deal will run to 2024. The union prevented the company from cutting bonuses like Christmas pay but performance pay will be ended. In 2018 workers will get a lump
Bringing services back in-house
EPSU has consistently argued in favour of direct provision of public services to guarantee the quality of services and the quality of employment for workers delivering those services. Under the heading of remunicipalisation EPSU supports and promotes any initiatives to bring services back in-house where they have been privatised along with moves to have new services run by municipalities and other public authorities. EPSU is part of a network, coordinated by the Transnational Institute that has published research highlighting recent trends in remunicipalisation and insourcing.
The concept of Just Transition was at the heart of the discussion at the EPSU’s Utilities Standing Committee where decarbonisation and digitalisation of the European economy were deeply debated amongst members.
In June, a new Right to Energy coalition brought together unions, environmental NGOs, energy cooperatives, ombudsmen and anti-poverty organisations to defend the right to affordable, renewable energy for all Europeans in the 2030 EU energy package
Waste workers employed by Birmingham City Council, the largest local authority in England, have won a new deal that will protect the pay of workers who were threatened with the loss of thousands of pounds in pay.
The FNME-CGT energy union mobilised workers for strike action across the sector on 29-30 November in protest at the employers' pay offer. Following a pay freeze, the combination of increased social security payments and inflation mean that workers have seen a 2.8% fall in purchasing power. The union says that companies are paying out high dividends while continuing to impose austerity on employees.
The ADEDY public sector confederation will be joining with the GSEE private sector confederation and other trade union and professional organisations in a 24-hour general strike on 30 May in protest at the continuing austerity being imposed on workers and citizens. ADEDY says that public sector workers are still suffering from pay cuts of up to 40% while more precarious working conditions have spread across the public services and there are critical staff shortages in important areas of health and social services.
The Federation of Trade Unions Gaz Romania (FSGR) has said it may resort to strike action if the ENGIE energy company doesn't respond to its demands on pay. The union argues that the employers have failed to come up with a reasonable offer and also to provide information needed for the negotiations. The union has been in contact with the Labour Inspectorate to help put pressure on the company to provide the requested data and it hasn't ruled out possible legal action to be accompanied by protests and strikes.