ETF President Frank Moreels opened this weekend’s session of the Amazon Summit, a gathering organised by Uni Global, which gathers a wide range of trade unions, NGOs, politicians from all around the world.
Frank Moreels said that ‘we all agree on the principle that Amazon, as any other company, should be held accountable for decent working conditions, environmental and societal impact of its activities as well as for paying taxes in the countries where it operates. The central question is: how are we going to reach this objective? For us at the ETF, it is clear: we have to combine organising and giving a strong voice to the workers, with gaining support from policy-makers at all levels’. He added that this is in fact the regular job of a union. And the example of how our Italian unions managed to reach an agreement with Amazon shows this clearly.
He continued saying that ‘Amazon is often seen as a special company, and it is true that its business model has been disruptive to many of our sectors. But let me tell you, that Amazon is not the only one. There are many similar companies in Europe’. One of them is the Danish “nemlig.com”, which, after a long battle, signed a collective agreement with our member 3F.
Indeed, many transport companies, in all sectors covered by ETF, can’t be defined as easy ones, when it comes to sitting at the negotiating table. However, in many cases we have forced them to engage with us, after long political and industrial work.
In particular, logistics, which is a growing sector, requires our special attention. The way the sector has developed has often meant long subcontracting chains which resulted in poor working conditions and precarious jobs.
‘ETF members are working hard to change the sector, which is crucial for our economies and societies at large’, stated Frank Moreels. It is in this framework that the ETF has developed a manifesto outlining our priorities for the sector, which was launched on the occasion of the recent Logistics Action Days.
‘We never got anything for free, he concluded, if we didn’t fight for it, and this time it is not different!’