The JHL public services has organised strike action at the Arkea Oy municipal company, owned by the City of Turku. The union is challenging the company’s plans to switch employers' organisation and transfer around 1000 employees to a different collective agreement with poorer pay and conditions. Lower-paid workers could see their pay cut by 15%-30%. The city's group management has given the plan its blessing and discussions between the trade union JHL and Arkea have not yielded any results. The action began on 17 November with measures taken to ensure no risks to safety. The strike will affect
Water, Low pay/minimum wages, Outsourcing
Members of the FNV trade union are in the process of voting on whether to support the agreement covering the municipal sector that was negotiated last month. The agreement provides for a 1.5% pay increase from 1 December 2021 and a further increase of 2.4% from 1 April 2022. There will also be a €1200 lump sum paid, €900 of which is pensionable and €300 of which reflects a COVID bonus. Also the agreement commits municipalities to guarantee a €14 an hour minimum wage from 1 January 2022. There are several other elements to the agreement including a working-from-home allowance and measures
The European Parliament has voted to begin the three-way negotiations with the European Council and Commission on the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive on the basis of the report supported by the Parliament’s Employment Committee on 11 November. The ETUC has called on the European Council to agree its general approach (vote likely on 6 December) so that the negotiations can begin as soon as possible. It argues that urgent action is needed to support the 9.5 million people across Europe struggling to pay their energy and other bills. The ETUC has also reiterated its demand that the directive
EC event on the concessions directive – first public information on the implementation of the Directive since 2014!
On 15 November the European Commission organised a stakeholder event on the functioning of the Concessions Directive adopted in 2014 and the assessment of the water exclusion.
An analysis by the ETUC shows that higher minimum wages across Europe could have a massive impact on the gender pay gap. The ETUC has been calling for a double threshold – 50% of the average wage/60% of the median wage – to be used in the directive on Adequate Minimum Wages. If this were in force then the gender pay gap would be cut by 25% in Romania, by 19% in Greece, by 12% in Poland, by 11% in Slovakia and by 10% in Spain and Luxembourg. The ETUC underlines that many women are trapped in underpaid and undervalued jobs and make up 76% of the 49 million care workers in the EU. The pay
The KNSB trade union confederation has published 22 demands on a range of issues that would boost pay and welfare benefits and help address poverty and the impact of soaring energy costs. Bearing in mind the discussions at European level about a minimum wage that should be at least 50% of the average wage and 60% of the median wage, the KNSB is looking for the minimum wage to rise to €700 as soon as possible and to €764 by the beginning of 2022. The confederation is also calling for wage rises across the economy and specifically for public sector workers an increase of at least 12.5% in 2022.
The ITUC global trade union confederation has noted the significance of the recent award of the Nobel prize for economics to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens. Their key research in the 1990s demonstrated that higher minimum wages do not mean fewer jobs, providing a powerful counter-argument to the often heard claims of employers and many governments about the negative effects of minimum wages. The ITUC argues that this prize is a serious indictment of many economists in that it has taken some 30 years for the facts to be given prominence over a damaging and groundless idea. It added
An ETUC analysis shows that almost three million people low-paid workers across Europe can’t afford to heat their homes. The ETUC estimates that even before expected further increases in energy prices 15% of Europe’s working poor won’t be able to turn on the heating – equivalent to 2,713,578 people across Europe. The analysis also shows that the situation has deteriorated in 10 EU member states over the last decade. With the directive on adequate minimum wages now being discussed in the European Council and Parliament, the ETUC argues that energy price rises make strong EU action on wages even
Some public service federations will be joining their private sector colleagues in a national demonstration on 5 October calling for an increase in salaries and the minimum wage. The unions note that private company profits are surging along with dividends to shareholders while workers are facing higher prices, not least for energy. In the public sector, workers are facing another year of a freeze on the index that determines salary levels with the government again having to adjust the lowest salary levels just to ensure that they don’t fall below the minimum wage.