UNI Europa calls for better conditions to address labour shortages


EU Affairs

UNI Europa, the European Services Workers’ Union, provided a written submission to the European Commission to address skills and labour shortages in the European Union.

UNI Europa calls for better conditions to address labour shortages

On 31 January, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, together with Prime Minister De Croo on behalf of the Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU, co-hosted the Val Duchesse Social Partners Summit.

The Summit focused on the importance of social dialogue in tackling pressing challenges in the world of work, including labour and skills shortages. The Summit concluded with the signature of a “Tripartite Declaration for a Thriving European – The Val Duchesse Declaration”, designed to end the gridlock in European social dialogue.

The declaration states that “the signatories are committed to each do their part to bring more people to the labour market, improve working conditions, facilitate the recognition of qualifications and integrate workers coming from abroad, through social dialogue and collective bargaining.” In order to move forward, the Commission, in cooperation with the social partners “will come forward with an Action Plan to address labour and skills shortages, by spring 2024.”

Different proposals

UNI Europa, the European Services Workers’ Union, took part in a hearing in February on labour and skills shortages, and submitted a written answer. While acknowledging the efforts made by the Commission in encouraging joint social partners commitments, UNI Europa highlighted the diverging views among them on the causes and solutions of labour shortages. Moreover, there is a need for two separate action plans as labour and skills shortages are two different problems requiring two different solutions.

Specifically, UNI Europa underlined that the solution is not only to provide training or increase migration and mobility. In many services sectors, the labour shortage comes down to high turnover, involuntary part-time jobs, zero-hour contacts, high numbers of youth workers, flexibility, low pay, high rates of violence and harassment. Therefore, employers have to offer attractive career paths with stable and quality employment, ensuring fair wages and good working conditions through collective bargaining, especially at the sectoral level.

Read the full submission below.

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Meetings & Events




PHSDialogue Project: 1st PHS Social Dialogue Plenary Session in Brussels 14 May

14 May 2024, 9h-16h CET | UNI Europa & EFSI Offices in Brussels

- Joint UNI & EFFAT Preparatory Meeting (morning, UNI Europa office)
- 1st PHS Social Dialogue Plenary Session (afternoon, EFSI office)

UNI Care Europa affiliates can register using the registration form below.



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Commerce and Tourism EWC network meeting