Following a workshop on “The European Social Pillar, Social Europe and national economies in crisis – Trade Union answers”, organised by UNI Europa and its affiliated Greek unions and held in Athens, a statement was adopted by the Greek Trade Unions members of UNI Europa: OTOE, OASE, OYIE, OME-OTE, POST and POESPERT.
It outlined that the European Pillar of Social Rights could be an opportunity for the European Union show that its main priority is to promote social progress and a better life for European workers and citizens. The Pillar is a basis for building more social justice through secure jobs and fair wages, social investment and a reasonable balance between work and family life, enabling workers and their families to live with dignity and without the constant threat of poverty and deprivation. The Pillar has the potential to bring real benefits, but only if properly implemented and accompanied by a concrete action plan.
It was also emphasised that the Pillar should be supported by broader monitoring and evaluation bodies at European Union level in order to ensure greater consistency among Member States, and by abolishing the disastrous wage gap between eastern and western EU countries, and between northern and the southern EU countries, which has created social dumping. The EU must also take measures to ensure that the Pillar is implemented at national level, especially as there is a real risk that certain right-wing parties and alliances in government will not implement what has been agreed on.
Therefore, in order for the Pillar’s measures to be effective, they must be fully supported and funded by the European Union.
The Greek Trade Unions members of UNI Europa call for:
- An increase in social expenditure, increasing the share of the European Social Fund to 30% of the European Union’s cohesion budget
- Active support from all Member States, social partners – trade unions and employers – and from all European Union institutions, including the European Central Bank and the European Court of Justice.
- The European Union to actively promote social dialogue in all Member States so that employers and trade unions can negotiate and implement agreements.
The declaration of the European Pillar of Social Rights is only the beginning of the process. The EU must act now before it is too late, the time for the European Union to offer better terms to its workers is rapidly running out
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