European trade unions call for more democracy at work

26 Nov 2020

Earlier this week, the European trade union confederation (ETUC) and the European trade unions federations (ETUFs) handed over a petition for more democracy at work to the European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, and today, over to MEPs during an ETUC Webinar on More Democracy at Work organised together with Gabriele Bischoff, Member of the European Parliament. While handing over the petition to MEPs, ETF General Secretary, Livia Spera, stressed the need to enforce existing rights and improve the legal framework on Democracy at Work; highlighting the example of International Airlines Group (IAG), where British Airways cut 13,000 jobs without consulting the EWC (European Works’ Council).

The petition underlines that workers should be at the centre of European and national actions and initiatives to maintain employment. The ETUC and ETUFs have recurrently called for urgent initiatives to provide for the protection and support of workers against the adverse impacts of COVID-19 and related massive restructurings that are taking place, with dramatic consequences for workers and their families across sectors.

Now more than ever, workers’ representatives at any workplace across Europe must have, before any decision is taken:

  • timely access to meaningful and up-to-date information about the impact of the pandemic on the company’s strategy and economic performance, on jobs and working conditions;
  • enough time and resources to run an in-depth assessment of the information provided with the support of experts to work on alternatives to negative measures, such as redundancies or closures;
  • genuine opportunity to discuss those alternatives with relevant decision-makers who must provide a motivated response to the proposed alternatives.

European trade unions called on Commissioner Schmit and MEPs to deliver concrete and rapid actions to guarantee the effective enforcement and compliance of workers’ rights to be informed, consulted and to participate in decision-making before any decision is adopted.

The letter to Commissioner Nicolas Schmit is available here and the petition here.

To join the movement and sign the petition for More Democracy at Work, please click here.