Public service trade unionists from across the Mediterranean region met online last week (14-15 September) to discuss the challenges they face in asserting their fundamental rights to organise, negotiate and take strike action.
EPSU is supporting the call by the international and European trade union confederations – ITUC and ETUC – for parliament to suspend the current discussion on labour law reform. The international trade union movement is backing the Ukrainian unions in their long-running campaign to block the reforms and to start a proper process of consultation with trade unions. Analysis of a number of draft laws shows that they are incompatible with International Labour Organisation conventions and EU social legislation, undermining workers’ basic employment rights as well as working time and health and
The International Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the decision by the president of Kyrgyzstan to veto a new law on trade unions. The law was drafted by the Parliament without properly consulting unions or the International Labour Organization (ILO). It flies in the face of core labour standards, including ILO Conventions 87 and 98 covering freedom of association, freedom to organise and the right to collective bargaining. The ITUC says that it is the third time in two years that they have had to ask the president to veto a draft anti-worker law and its now insisting that unions and the
EPSU calls on Ukrainian parliament and government to address trade union concerns over Labour law reform
The Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkovna Rada, is considering reform of the labour law. Many of its amendments would be regressive for workers’ rights and would not be compatible with international labour standards.
The 2019 Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive introduces a range of new or enhanced rights for millions of workers across Europe. Member States have until August 2022 to transpose the Directive into national legislation and the European Commission has just published its expert group report. This is not binding but covers the points raised in the group by representatives of national governments and other experts. The main issue for EPSU is the provision that gives member states the possibility to exclude certain public service workers from Chapter III of the directive which
The Hungarian government has issued two decrees removing the right to strike from air traffic control staff. An appeal court judgement of 20 July clearly confirmed the union’s legal right to strike. However, six days later the two decrees were published which not only dismiss the decision of the Hungarian Appeal Court but also violate Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) has condemned the Hungarian government and strongly maintains that collective representation and collective bargaining are basic labour rights
The five national trade union confederations sent a solidarity message to the MESZK chamber of healthcare professionals in support of its protest march in Budapest on 31 July. The demonstrators called for pay increases for nurses in line with those already awarded to doctors and argued this was crucial to help stem the migration of nurses to western Europe. Earlier this year the five confederations also came together to file a complaint with the International Labour Organisation over the government’s imposition of new legislation which removes the rights to negotiate and take strike action
Forty-eight countries are now covered in EPSU’s library of factsheets on the right to strike. Information on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Switzerland, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan was recently added to the EPSU website. Each factsheet sets out the main legal provisions covering strike action, including who can call a strike, procedural requirements and any limitations on the right to take action. There is also a section on international case law. The factsheets were launched jointly with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) in 2019 with the ETUI coordinating production of factsheets on 34
The STAL municipal union has joined with the FIEQUMETAL industrial union in a series of public “tribunals” to denounce the EGF/Mota&Engil waste and construction company. The unions’ aim is to expose the poverty wages paid by the company and its failure to enter into a proper process of collective bargaining. The joint action started in Coimbra in central Portugal on 12 July, moving on to Guimarães in the north of the country on 20 July with further events planned for 26 July and 2 August. The two unions argue that the company is denying them the right to collective bargaining while maintaining
The European federations representing transport and public service (ETF and EPSU) condemn the actions of the Romanian government in what appears to be an orchestrated attempt to intimidate ETF and EPSU affiliate USLM with union busting tactics, in response to the union working to protect workers in the Bucharest metro.
The GSEE and ADEDY private and public sector trade union confederations organised a 24-hour general strike on 10 June in protest at draft legislation on labour law changes. The confederations are particularly concerned that the new law will allow individual worker contracts that will undermine the eight-hour day and increase overtime. They are also protesting over further attacks on the right to strike and the weakening of the labour inspectorate. EPSU sent a solidarity message. Meanwhile, the OME-EYDAP water trade union has been mobilising to resist job cuts and other threats to pay and
The UNIO trade union confederation whose members cover workers with higher education has been pushing for higher pay deals in three negotiations – national local government, Oslo municipality and public companies represented by the employers’ organisation, Spekter. The NSF nurses’ union is one of UNIO’s members involved in the strikes and negotiations and they are calling for higher pay for nurses to tackle major staff shortages. The government has stepped in to end strikes in local government and the Oslo municipality on the grounds, rejected by the trade unions, that the actions pose a