The European services workers union UNI Europa has launched the campaign Better Regulation – It Really Isn’t, with the support of ETUC, EFFAT, IndustriALL Europe, EPSU, ETF Europe, CSEE-ETUCE, EFBWW and the IFJ.
Posters against the measures are strewn across Brussels and particularly around the Berlaymont area, and the website www.notbetter.eu expose how the European Commission is stalling important social legislation such as the agreement on the health and safety of hairdressers.
In the Better Regulation Agenda the Commission depicts European regulation as a burden so as to justify undermining important social legislation relating to workers’ rights and standards. The Agenda actually makes EU decision-making less democratic by adding red tape and acting in favour of big business and against people.
For four years the Commission has suspended the adoption of a social dialogue agreement concerning the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of hairdressers. During negotiations the Commission has on several occasions openly mocked the agreement. “The EU must not be big on small things” they say, and even scorned the agreement in a recent publication, which was partially removed following our letter to the Commission.
“UNI Europa and its allies will not stand idle while the health and safety of thousands of mostly young and female workers is being held hostage. The health and safety of hairdressers is not a 'small thing' – they are at very high risk of developing skin ailments, musculoskeletal diseases and occupational asthma,” stated Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa.
These issues, combined with absences from work and early exit from the sector also cost Europeans millions of Euros due to increased demand for social security, healthcare services and ultimately a total retraining of hairdressers into other occupations.