European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

EFFAT’s Executive Committee sends strong political messages on Social Agenda, Migration and the Future of the European Trade Unions

19/05/2015
EFFAT’s Executive Committee sends strong political messages on Social Agenda, Migration and the Future of the European Trade Unions
 
During the 6 and 7 May Executive Committee, EFFAT engaged in discussions over the issues that are paramount to our organization’s activities and sectors, shared best practices and agreed on the organizations’ way forward. Social dumping and precarious work, immigration policy and the future of the European Trade Union movements were amongst the areas around which EFFAT sent strong political messages.
 
Equal Pay and workers’ rights trump social dumping and precarious work at the European Court of Justice
During the meeting EFFAT addressed the fight against precarious work and social dumping. The Secretariat provided its members with an analysis of two historical verdicts from the European Court of Justice (CJEU), respectively on posted workers and temporary agency work, which have recently marked a milestone in the advancement of social and labor rights. The triumph of equal pay principle and restriction of temporary agency over social dumping and competition at all costs were deemed as historical amongst EFFAT’s members and precarious work was confirmed as an unescapable cornerstone of EFFAT’s on-going and future work.
 
Luca Visentini from ETUC presents its vision for a better Europe and future of the European Trade Unions
Ahead of September ETUC congress Luca Visentini, ETUC’s current Confederal Secretary, was invited at the EFFAT’s Executive committee to present its vision on the future of the European Trade Union movement. As candidate to the role of new ETUC General Secretary, Visentini gave a vigorous political speech on its vision on how to create a better Europe amidst the crisis, and re-launch the European Trade Union movement while stimulating the economy and spurring job creation. In order to meet the challenges of the future ETUC needs to revive its inner role as a negotiator, and become able to influence the process of economic governance. In a situation of economic austerity, overall deflation and unviable structural reforms, ETUC needs to contribute to a change in the macro-economic policy to achieve sustainable growth, creation of good jobs and social progress. The restoration of collective bargaining, the reinforcement of social dialogue and the strengthening of the public sector are paramount to this vision and need to be the basis of a renewed industrial policy that looks at strengthening rules of financial services and markets.
 
EFFAT adopts resolutions on the Mediterranean Sea Tragedy and calls for an end to austerity in Greece
In the last two decades the Mediterranean Sea has become a synonym for human tragedy, as thousands of migrants died in their attempt to reach European borders seeking international protection. Confronted with the EU failure in dealing efficiently with this human and social catastrophe, EFFAT felt the responsibility to develop a resolution to establish an EU-wide effective strategy, and urge the EU to revise its current approach to migration.
EFFAT felt particularly affected by this tragedy as many of the refugees that manage to arrive at the European shores likely provide cheap and vulnerable labour in the Agriculture and Tourism sectors, with a high risk of social dumping and exploitation by unscrupulous employers.
On the occasion of the EFFAT Executive Committee Meeting member organizations also approved unanimously a resolution calling for a radical change of course in the handling of the Greek crisis. The text urged to stop the austerity measures introduced in the country as the cuts in government spending have only helped cause greater inequalities in European society, along with higher unemployment rates and a dramatic rise in the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
 

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.