4 November 2019

Zagreb, Croatia – Under the slogan ‘Organise. Fight. Win. A Recipe for a Stronger EFFAT’, the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism trade unions is to hold on 6-7 November its 5th five-yearly Congress at the Westin Hotel in Zagreb. It will bring together delegates from 34 countries representing workers right across the European agriculture, food, and tourism sectors to discuss their collective approach to the challenges facing trade unions.

Congress will chart EFFAT’s course for the next five years, setting its priorities and action plan, as well as electing its new leadership and executive bodies. These will look to address a range of pan-European issues affecting workers in EFFAT’s sectors, including social dumping, the effects of climate change and digitalisation, and precarious work.

The continued lack of adequate, coherent regulation to govern and mitigate intra-European discrepancies, coupled with the persistence of ineffective neo-liberal remedies to the financial and Eurozone crises, has given rise to social dumping and unfair competition, discrimination against migrant workers, and a growth in precarious work.

On the event of its 5th Congress, EFFAT, in close cooperation with its Croatian affiliates STUH and PPDIV, will put forward its five years plan to fight for a fairer Europe for workers along the entire food supply chain. These include:

  • Strengthening collective bargaining to increase wages and achieve improved standards of living and work
  • Fighting neo-liberalism, growing inequalities, working poor phenomenon and precarious working conditions
  • Safeguarding a healthy planet through climate action and advocating for future-oriented regulatory measures to build a just transition and new quality jobs
  • Ensuring the prioritisation of short-term financial interests gives way to reinvestment of profits back into the workforce in the form of professional training and upskilling etc.
  • Shaping the impact of digitalisation and automation and ensuring a fair share of the technological gains
  • Outright, unequivocal opposition to racism – including the exploitation of migrant labour – in all its forms
  • Unconditional condemnation for gender-based harassment and abuse, including sexual harassment and anti-LGBTQI prejudice

Kristjan Bragason, EFFAT Secretary General to-be, said:

“The EFFAT Congress comes at a crucial time for our European workers. As food production systems are increasingly susceptible to shocks such as diseases, droughts and pests, as well as climate change, in Europe alone 25 million people contribute daily to bringing food to our table and protecting food rights and security. Yet, our sectors are guilty of low pay, precarious working conditions and social dumping, while the relentless development of the platform economy prevents our workers from enjoying fair competition, social rights and quality jobs. Trade unions have a fundamental role to play in mitigating these effects and ensuring the sustainability of the European project.”

In the two days before formal Congress, EFFAT will be holding a series of side conferences dedicated to some of the specific issues they are targeting: discrimination against women and LGBTQI people in the workplace and wider society; a Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe conference to discuss intra-continental imbalances; and the challenges facing young people across Europe in finding stable, decent work.

EFFAT Trade Union leaders, the Presidents of STUH and PPDIV, and Evelyn Regner MEP will expand upon the challenges facing Europe, workers’ rights and the trade union movement, as well as discussing EFFAT’s proposals, at a formal press conference on 7 November 2019. For more details, please get in contact (details below).

Notes to Editors:
EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism trade unions, representing 120 national unions from 35 European countries and defending the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European industrial federations and enterprise management.

Media contact: Maddalena Colombi – m.colombi@effat.org

ENDS

 

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