Europe needs a pay rise
Welcome to this special edition of the EPSU Newsletter, two crucial events took place in the European trade unions and European Union sphere, last week, which we believe merit the focus of their own publication. The launch of the ETUC’s ‘Europe Needs a Pay Rise – Its Time for Our Recovery campaign, which took place in Brussels on the 14th and 15th of February, marked a new step in union action to end the austerity policies which have blighted the European Union, undermined Europe’s social project and diminished citizens trust in EU institutions which have become associated with austerity.
Read about how trade unionists and social partners from all over Europe made the case for workers’ pay rises, which are essential to sustain Europe’s fragile economic recovery and underpin social Europe. We cover the Pay Rise campaign’s commitment to support and revive collective bargaining, as a key tool to facilitate negotiations for higher wages, particularly in low-paid sectors, employing mostly women. In the coming months a series of activities and actions will be rolled out as the Pay Raise Campaign gathers momentum (see boxed article). And the need for #OurPayRise is picked up in national actions like the demonstrations in Spain and the result of Ver.di’s bargaining for nearly a million regional government workers in Germany.
Meanwhile, on the 15th of February MEPs gathering in Strasbourg took their final vote on the proposed EU-Canadian trade deal or CETA. EPSU and its affiliates have played an integral role in opposing this flawed and undemocratic trade deal over the past seven years. Read how in the final hours before the CETA vote EPSU and its allies intensified efforts to inform MEPs of the failings of CETA, urging them to reject the deal, through briefings, editorials and protests.
We joined the Green 10 and a coalition of trade unions and civil society groups to present a detailed analysis of why CETA fails workers, the environment and Europe as a whole, presenting our case to MEPs, right up until the vote. The fight is not over, the battle moves to the Member States who need to ratify this trade deal, EPSU and its affiliates will be there every step of the way pointing out the many failings of CETA. It will be challenged in national courts, in some countries there might be referendums and in all there will be votes in national and regional parliaments …