“Our tour is ending at a very timely moment, right after the EU elections, whose results show that the European Commission and European Parliament need to do much more to ensure a true Social Europe. The results of these elections are a clear sign from Europe’s citizens that they expect answers to their concerns about the uncertain economic and social situation caused by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and the insecure prospects of their jobs in the twin transition. 

“The EMWD was one of the major wins of the last mandate, but the big work starts now, as we need to overcome the obstacle to making its targets a reality on the ground”, said Isabelle Barthès, industriAll Europe’s Deputy General Secretary. 

This series of national seminars has shown that the obstacles to collective bargaining and social dialogue are the same across Central and Eastern Europe, and not only. Reaching the 80% target of collective bargaining coverage requested by the EMWD will only be possible by overcoming them. By removing these obstacles, we can:

  1. Create an enabling regulatory framework for collective bargaining and social dialogue at all levels
  2. Overcome employers’ refusal to shoulder their responsibility and sit at the bargaining table to negotiate with trade unions
  3. Ensure correct representation of the social partners by preventing ‘yellow unions’ (which are not democratic and independent) from obstructing social dialogue and collective bargaining
  4. Protect trade union members against discrimination and trade union busting
  5. Modernise trade union tools, strategies and communication to increase their capacity

“The adoption of the EMWD created a positive dynamic in Europe. On the one hand, we see the 50/60 threshold for increasing minimum wages used, as well as attempts by some governments to support collective bargaining with the reforms of previous, damaging laws, like the reform of the 2012 Social Dialogue Law in Romania. But, on the other hand, we also see attacks against trade union rights that go in the opposite direction of the EMWD, like the recent limitation of the right to strike in Finland”, explained Isabelle Barthès. 

“We need to join forces in these uncertain times when far-right parties, which are no friends of workers and unions, gain power. This series of seminars has shown that trade unions are facing the same obstacles across countries and that the key to tackle them lies in working together in solidarity to strengthen our capacities and our bargaining power. In the coming months, we will continue to help our national members overcome the obstacles that they face to organise members and to negotiate”, concluded Isabelle Barthès.