This issue carries a feature on standardization, an area governed by new European rules since January 2013. The regulations introduce a series of measures that open up new opportunities for trade unions to get more involved in the work of European standardization bodies.
This 6th issue of the HesaMag looks at working conditions in the retail sector, with a special focus on employees in the mainly grocery store. The supermarket boom has given jobs to hundreds of thousands of Europeans, very many of them young people. This foothold in the working world, however, can now only be had by giving up some expectations about well-being at work, and even a home life.
This issue carries an item on working time and its impact on workers’ health. Aside from the revision of the Working Time directive, which the social partners are currently trying to get back on track, we look at the trend towards increasingly flexible working times and its repercussions on health as well as social and family life. While no category of workers is immune, the least skilled and women seem to be hardest hit. You can also read an interview in this issue with Judith Kirton, the new ETUC confederal secretary with responsibility for health and safety at work.
Since the 2008 crisis eruption, business restructurings have increased in most European countries either because of real economic difficulties or because the business cycle offered a perfect excuse for shedding jobs. This 4th issue of the HesaMag looks at the consequences for workers’ health mainly through three examples: French public hospitals, an industrial giant’s German factory, and a Belgian SME glassmaker. The workers interviewed suffer from similar things: the fear of poverty, feelings of helplessness, lack of recognition and respect for the work done, the worry of deskilling.