Europeiska fackliga samorganisationen, EFS har startat sin 12:e kongress i Aten. Mer än 500 delegater från 36 länder finns på plats för att diskutera strategier för hur facken skall kunna slå tillbaka på de brutala attacker som de europeiska arbetstagarna utsatts för av EU.
The European Trade Union Confederation opens its 12th Congress in Athens denouncing the burden that European workers are forced to carry because of the crisis and wrong political decisions
Brussels, 16 May 2011
The 12th Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) takes place in a crucial moment when European leaders are deciding the fate of Greece, Portugal and other countries that are experiencing economic difficulties. The ETUC Congress is the occasion for this organization representing millions of European workers to reassert its rejection of austerity and of the economic governance pursued by the European Commission and the Council.
More than 500 delegates from 36 countries gather in Athens today to discuss the strategy that the European trade union movement has to put in place to counter the brutal attack that is ongoing in Europe against workers’ rights and conditions.
Wages and the autonomy of collecting bargaining are directly threatened by the mechanisms of the â€œEuro plus pactâ€: the unit labour cost is to become the benchmark to push towards lower wages and lower purchasing power for workers.
The pressure to further flexibility, to abolish the wage indexation systems and to shift the collective bargaining from national level to enterprise level complete the worrying picture.
The EU must combat the rise of the Eurosceptic and nationalist right who will wreck the EU if it ever comes to power. And, in democracies, that means the EU must work for the benefit of workers, not just bring grim news and impose harsh discipline.
John Monks, General Secretary of ETUC, said â€œThe ETUC Congress , which takes place every 4 years, is an important appointment for the European trade union movement. Workers from all over Europe know that there is an alternative to austerity and the European Commission economic governance. We want to see European politicians finally decide to raise the taxes on the wealthy, to issue Eurobonds especially to help countries with sovereign debt problems and to adopt a plan for young people employment. Another major demand from the unions is the introduction of a European financial transaction tax. In this respect, we urge the Commission not to ignore the hundreds of thousands of replies in favour of such a tax which came out of the consultation on the financial sector taxation. These are going to be the priorities for the Secretariat which is going to lead the ETUC for the next four yearsâ€.