The latest issue of HesaMag contains a special report entitled ‘Construction workers at the mercy of social dumping’. In the past decade job competition among European building workers has been increasing. The free movement of labour in an eastwards enlarged Europe has triggered a downward wage spiral, as well as deteriorating working and safety conditions. The European Union and its controversial directive on the posting of workers often get the blame, even though the Community legislation now allows public authorities – a key actor in the construction market – to include social and environmental criteria in their tender procedures. Besides the challenge of combatting social dumping, the special report addresses other major concerns for building workers and their unions: the continuing exposure to asbestos, women's access to this industry and improving the safety of construction machinery.
Equality for men and women in the workplace has been one of the longest standing aims of European social policy. Forty years after the adoption of the first Directive, and in spite of numerous initiatives by the European Union, there is still a long way to go to achieve full gender equality in the workplace.
Deteriorating working conditions, lack of staff, job burnout: the health sector has been experiencing a serious crisis for a number of years. Across Europe, the trade unions are ringing alarm bells. The health of their members is at serious risk. In the countries worst affected by the recession, the policies of austerity have made the situation even worse and their knock-on effect has been a reduction in the quality of care.
In this special report, the European Trade Union Institute looks to identify the main factors that are undermining occupational health services in Europe: shortage of specialists, overwork that undermines the quality of services, loss of direct contact with actual working conditions, feeling of being forsaken, commercialism of health and safety at work services, etc.