"Despite a very broad picture of scepticism, most unions are embedded in discussions in relation with CSR", declared Chris Rees, a researcher at the Royal Holloway University of London who has recently, with two colleagues from the same university, written a book on trade union attitudes and approaches to the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The principal results of this research, conducted between 2011 and 2013 in eleven EU countries, were presented on 24 February last at an ETUI Monthly Forum.
On 29 January 2015 the EU Council of Ministers decided to back Sweden in taking the European Commission to the European Court of Justice. The European Parliament could throw its weight in - 11 MEPs keenly interested in environmental and health issues have sent Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis a strongly worded letter urging him to adopt science-based criteria for regulating endocrine disruptors.
Equality at work for men and women is among the longest-standing aims of European social policy. A long series of EU initiatives in the forty years following the first Directive on it have left full gender equality in the workplace still largely unachieved.
On 3 February 2015, the ETUI held a symposium to examine several instances of EU intervention in social protection reforms in member states severely affected by the sovereign debt crisis.
Some forty trade unionists and researchers coming principally from Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Spain and Italy took part in a seminar organised jointly by the ETUI and the Belgian association Santé & Solidarité. The purpose of the event was to present projects involving participation by both researchers and workers in the service of a common goal, namely, to make the impact of work on health visible. Of some 30 initiatives submitted to the organisers following a call for proposals, seven were selected and presented on 30 January in Brussels.
From 27 to 29 January, the ETUI held a gathering in Berlin of some thirty persons coming from trade union, academic and employer circles to look ahead – using the method known as ‘scenario-building’ – to how health and safety issues might be dealt with in European workplaces in 2040.
The Collective Bargaining newsletter presents the most important developments at European and Member States levels on a monthly basis. Here are the key issues of the past month:
The Transnational Trade Union Rights Network organised in January 2015 a one day seminar to present the first analysis on the impacts the European Social Charter (ESC) could have on the European Union to strengthen and promote fundamental social rights. High level representatives such as Régis Brillat, Executive Secretary of the European Committee for Social Rights of the Council of Europe, together with Jean-François Akandji-Kombé, General Coordinator of the Academic Network on European Social Charter and Social rights were invited to present their views and comments on the TTUR project on the European Social Charter and the Employment Relation.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) published on 28 January the report "An Employment-Oriented Investment Strategy for Europe" according to which over 2.1 million new jobs could be generated under the three-year investment plan put forward by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
According to figures notified to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), 5,675 chemicals that manufacturers/importers consider to be carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR) can be found on the European market.
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