“High employment rates and signs of improvement for the youth”, this is how the European Commission advertises the current Quarterly Report on Employment and Social Developments in the EU. The Commission far too often paints a too rosy picture of the economic and social development in Europe. However, from the AK’s point of view, additional efforts have to be made at European level to ensure that the increased growth and employment rates also improve people’s working and living conditions. 

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The last weeks of 2020 saw agreements on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the recovery plan “Next Generation EU” as well as a post-Brexit deal. The new year brings a change of Presidency; it is now up to Portugal to set out in new directions. In particular the stronger social focus of her Presidency programme is to be welcomed.

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On 24 February 2021, the Commission will likely present its proposal on the action plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Chamber of Labour has participated in the consultation what was carried out in advance and has voiced concrete demands for the deepening of a social Europe.

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The OSEETUI and AK EUROPA are pleased to invite you to a second webinar at the occasion of the launch of the 21st edition of ‘Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2020’. 

 

Agenda

 

Chair: Bart Vanhercke, Director, OSE

 

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With the 4th proposed revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (COM 2020/571), the EU Commission intends to revise binding occupational exposure limits for acrylonitrile, benzene, as well as nickel and nickel compounds. However, from the point of view of the Chamber of Labour (AK), the proposed limit values would lead to unacceptable risks for workers’ health.

 

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Petra Streithofer

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On December 12, 2020, the European Trade Union Institute and the European Trade Union Confederation in cooperation with AK EUROPA and ÖGB Europabüro hosted a webinar on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the world of work.

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As part of the public consultation on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), the European Commission has launched a public debate on measures at different levels intended to further implement the EPSR. With this new position paper, the Austrian Chamber of Labour (AK) proposes further implementation steps for all of the 20 principles of the EPSR, which are necessary in order to ensure substantial progress. AK has long been an active participant in the debate on the social focus of the EU and is calling for a fundamentally new social realignment of the EU.

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Gloria Gruber

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On 9 December 2020, AK EUROPA, together with the ÖGB Europabüro, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) launched a campaign, which shall increase the pressure on the EU Commission to present an ambitious regulation on due diligence in 2021.

Companies today are operating with impunity around the world. Too many of them wreck the environment, abuse workers’ and trade union rights, kick indigenous people off their land or support modern day slavery. Those who stand up to corporate abuses around the world are fired from their jobs, thrown in jail, go missing or worse.

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A year ago, a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the legitimacy of lower wages for cross-border workers on Austrian trains made the headlines. Hence, vida, the trade union representing workers in the transport and service industries in Austria, the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) and the AK hosted a Webinar on 30 November 2020 to discuss the significance of the ruling for the fight against wage and social dumping in the transport sector.