No public procurement without a collective agreement

Some highlights from UNI Europa's ongoing campaign


No public procurement without a collective agreement


Some highlights from UNI Europa’s ongoing campaign




Engaging the European Parliament



A key objective of the campaign has been to engage the European Parliament. We have received the support of over 130 Members of the European Parliament, and counting. Some have promoted the campaign on social media, others have shared it with fellow MEPs. Our champions have gone a step further and pushed the objectives of the campaigns in legislative spaces and participate in our visibility efforts.



Five Members of the European Parliament from different political groups (S&D, EPP, Renew, Greens and The Left) have co-authored an opinion piece arguing for UNI Europa’s public procurement demand.



MEP Kim van Sparrentak highlighting UNI Europa and the campaign demands in the European Parliament.


On International Women’s Day, another three MEPs from three different parties also filmed a strong video message highlighting the gender perspective on public procurement and pushing our demand.



Rallying the European trade union movement



UNI Europa has been using its voice within the ETUC to raise the profile of our public procurement demand.


Our long-term work with both Agnes Jongerius (S&D) and Dennis Radtke (EPP), the two MEPs who headed negotiations for the minimum wages and collective bargaining directive was key. Our work within the ETUC, ensured that we were pushing for the inclusion of public procurement. Together with the ETUC, our efforts were crucial to getting public procurement into the final directive. This now gives us a vital platform and our European Parliament allies a strong argument to push through the changes to the public procurement directive.



Furthermore, UNI Europa has been working with our sister federations from the very start of the campaign. Public procurement is now high on the priority list of joint work, and we are setting the groundwork for coordinated drives.
Our sister federation of building and woodworkers, the EFBWW has set the demand to  allow only companies (incl. subcontractors) which engage in collective bargaining to participate in a public contracts as a top demand in its “Who’s the Boss?’ campaign.



Rallying UNI Europa affiliates



Affiliated national trade unions give UNI Europa its legitimacy and weight in the European sphere. Without them, none of the progress would have been possible. They have been crucial in reaching out to MEPs and the permanent representations at the EU Council. UNI Europa affiliated unions are important players in national constituencies. We have seen that when they contact their national representatives in Europe, the response rate is very positive and our policy objective has been given a major boost.
The early work of ver.di (Germany), of ACV Puls and BBTK (Belgium), of PAM (Finland) and of FNV (Netherlands), to name a few, has been crucial to establishing broad cross-party support.
UNI affiliates have also provided key case studies that highlight why our policy solution is so important.



In Germany, ver.di’s work has ensured that public procurement is part of the current government’s bid to reinforce collective bargaining.


In the Netherlands, FNV’s Voor14 campaign showed what can be done when it got the city of Nijmegen to extend social clauses on minimum wages to all public procurement contracts.


In Wales, the TUC provided the impetus for the government to put forward a new law on public procurement for public contracts going to private companies to only be awarded to companies that offer decent working conditions.



Generating evidence & strong arguments



As well as drawing on national level experiences, UNI Europa has been developing a body of research at European level.

Our report entitled Put your money where your mouth is – why and how the EU needs to change its public spending revealed half of tenders in Europe being awarded based solely on the lowest price. By putting lowest price above all other selection criteria, public bodies are rewarding those companies that are prepared to dodge negotiations and squeeze workers the hardest. This is a powerful argument that the EU public procurement rules are not fit for purpose as they incentivise companies to suppress collective bargaining.



We have also exposed Europe-wide trends of public contracts going to corporations that are undermining the European social model. Amazon is one such corporation, gaining an increasingly large market-share across Europe.



Our first report shed light on the scale of public contracts going from European governments to Amazon. It highlighted the policy incoherence of paying a corporation that undermines collective bargaining and dodges tax with public money.



Our follow-up report, titled Easy Money “How Public Money Flows to Amazon Without Any Competition”, revealed that up to 99% of public contracts going to Amazon are awarded without open competition.
Anchoring our demand by illustrating its need with such a recognizable and controversial corporation has been crucial to elevating the importance of our demand to make public contracts conditional on collective bargaining.





You may also be interested in

Meetings & Events







UNI Europa workshop and conference on Collective Bargaining and the Minimum Wage Directive

UNI Europa hosts a conference on the upcoming National Action Plans regarding collective bargaining within the framework of the EU Minimum Wage Directive.



1st Workshop – Project: Monitoring and furthering the autonomous implementation of the European framework agreement on occupational health and safety in the hairdressing sector



Commerce/Tourism EWC Network Meeting


timing: 9:30 to 12:00