Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the November issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter:
The ETUI’s education department is looking for a new director to lead its activities and coordinate the institute’s European training programme for trade unionists and trade union leaders. He/she will work directly with the ETUI’s senior management.
From 23 to 24 February 2017, in Naples (Italy), experts will be investigating the transformation of the manufacturing industry by digitalization, with a particular focus on employment and skill demand. Experts willing to participate are invited to apply by 15 December 2016.
The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) publishes an annual report on developments in ‘quality of work’. In the latest edition of this report, published on 10 November, the DGB expresses its concern at the impact of an increasingly digital economy on working conditions.
The gap between workers high up on the career ladder and those on the bottom rung is widening. This is one of the main conclusions that can be drawn from the presentation of the overview report of the sixth European Working Conditions Survey, which took place on 17 November at the European Parliament.
The November issue of Transfer contains six articles which cover key issues for industrial relations in Europe: the impact of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on industrial relations systems; the changing political context under economic crisis and austerity measures, with its impacts on workers’ voice and representation; the state of the European sectoral social dialogue; the role played by European Works Councils (EWCs) at national level; economic integration and union strategies in the EU; and trade unions and non-standard work.
The Belgian Government is paving the way for the next phase in its reform of the pension system. Minister for Pensions and French-speaking Liberal Daniel Bacquelaine is seeking to encourage employees to take out individual pension savings plans supplementary to the statutory pension. Experts believe the planned reform could exacerbate social inequality.
Since the 1950s the number of chemical molecules developed in the laboratories of major petrochemical companies has exploded. At the same time, the incidence of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cognitive or behavioural disorders in children, and auto-immune diseases has risen dramatically. More and more European citizens are seeing a link between these two phenomena. Yet certain scientists started having this same intuition years ago.
On 8 November, Paris was the stage for the press launch by the CGT (France’s General Confederation of Labour) of its campaign raising awareness of work accidents in the temporary employment sector. The trade union claims that 40 000 such accidents were recorded in 2014, 64 of which were fatal.
Maurizio Ferrera is an acknowledged expert on the topic of social protection systems in Europe. During an ETUI lunch debate held in Brussels on 25 October, he called for the establishment of a ‘European Social Union’, combining economic integration with social cohesion and requiring political, economic and intellectual elites to look beyond their normal frame of reference and initiate groundbreaking projects.
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