Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the first issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter for 2017:
The candidate who will run for the Socialist Party in the French presidential elections to be held in spring 2017 will be officially nominated in an ‘open primary’ ballot involving two rounds of voting on 22 and 29 January 2017. The ETUI has examined the manifestos of the front-runners, and their positions on the key issues affecting trade unions are outlined below. Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Mélenchon – two leading political figures on the left who have announced their intention to run in the presidential elections but have refused to take part in the open primary organised by the Socialist Party and its allies – have also been included.
Italy’s main trade union confederation, the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), lost its case before the Constitutional Court, which on 11 January 2017 rejected the proposal for a popular referendum to repeal a highly controversial provision of that law. The ‘Jobs Act’ on the reform of the labour market had repealed a very emblematic provision of Italy’s social relations, i.e. Article 18 of the Workers’ Statute, which made it mandatory to reinstate in a company an employee who had been unfairly dismissed.
The articles published in the latest issue of HesaMag, the ETUI half-yearly publication on occupational health, are now online. The issue contains a special feature on labour inspection in Europe.
On 11 January, Belgian employers’ and trade union organisations agreed to adopt a social agreement for 2017-2018, paving the way for a 1.1% annual wage rise on top of pay scale increases and automatic wage indexation.
The dominant view of the crisis in Europe is that it is a crisis of competitiveness, and wages are seen as the key adjustment variable to improving competitiveness through the reduction of labour costs. However, the ETUI publication ‘Wage bargaining under the new European Economic Governance’, recently updated and translated into German, comes up with a different diagnosis of the causes of the crisis and proposes alternative strategies.
On 10 January, the European Commission published its second draft of the revised Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work. The omission of diesel engine exhaust from this draft has prompted criticism by the European trade union movement.
Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the last issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter for 2016:
The year 2015 saw an influx of almost 1.3 million asylum seekers into Europe, representing a historic challenge for the reception and asylum systems of EU Member States. Access to the labour market is of central importance for the integration of refugees into our societies and economies; this was the main point highlighted during the presentation of a recent report by the German Bertelsmann Foundation at an ETUI lunch debate on 8 December.
Dr Jukka Takala, a world expert on work-related cancer, considers it necessary to establish a global programme for eliminating carcinogens in the workplace. ‘Cancer is the primary cause of death in the workplace,’ he stated on 16 December 2016 at an ETUI monthly forum.
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