European Trade Union Confederation
ETUC calls for New Deal for workers
By Eric van Puyvelde | Thursday 19 May 2011
At its congress in Athens, held on 16-19 May, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) approved the ‘Athens manifesto’ that will serve as the organisation’s road map for the coming years (the congress meets every four years). The text was presented by Bernadette Ségol, who took up her duties as the confederation’s new general secretary at the congress, succeeding John Monks.
The ETUC states in its manifesto that wages are not the enemy of the economy, but are its driving force instead, and that the autonomy of social partners in collective bargaining must be respected. The manifesto also denounces the ‘euro plus pact’.
The trade union movement states that it will fight for a European New Deal for workers, against austerity-based governance and for European economic governance that serves the interests of the European people and not markets, for a coordinated attack on youth unemployment and for the improvement of working conditions for all Europeans.
The ETUC also demands effective and stringent regulation of financial markets and ratings agencies. It plans to campaign in support of fundamental social rights taking precedence over economic freedoms and for this principle to be guaranteed in a social progress protocol in EU treaties, in a revised posted workers directive and in an internal market regulation known as ‘Monti II’.
The trade union representatives from 36 countries elected a new team that will steer the ETUC until 2015.
The ‘Athens manifesto’ is available at www.etuc.org/a/8748