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JANUARY 2017
IN THE SPOTLIGHT 
Social Europe in ‘last chance saloon’
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is warning the European Commission that the EU is in the ‘last-chance saloon’ to tackle popular resentment towards the EU.
On 23 January 2017 the European Commission will reveal its latest thinking on social policy and legislation at the conference “The European Pillar of Social Rights: going forward together” with President Juncker and Commissioner Thyssen. Read more
GENERAL
EESC adopts opinion on Posting of Workers Directive

On 14 December the EESC adopted its opinion on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. In its opinion, the EESC supports in principle the Commission's proposed recast of the Posting of Workers Directive. The principle of equal pay for equal work in the same place is the cornerstone of the pillar of social rights in Europe. Read more
Lobbying against CETA continues

Despite considerable progress in the area of protection of public services, labour rights and the environment of CETA’s latest agreement, the ETUC latest executive committee decided that the European trade unions must continue acting and lobbying, together with the Canadian trade unions and the international trade union movement, to further improve CETA and push for a progressive global trade agenda.
Read more
Services Package: European trade unions set out workers' concerns

The European Commission proposed a “Services Package” of measures aimed at “making it easier” to provide services across Europe.
EFFAT shares the ETUC remark that the Services Package shows improvements, but does not address some fundamental problems raised by the unions, as set out in the campaign “Red card for services passport” in December 2016. Read more
EFFAT and IndustriALL conduct sub-regional workshop on Industrial Policy in Bulgaria and Romania

On 17 and 18 January 2017, jointly with IndustriALL, Harald Wiedenhofer took part in a sub-regional workshop on industrial policy in Bulgaria and Romania. The workshop focused on trade union activities and organising, as well as establishing, new collective agreement strategies for better working conditions in transnational companies
FOOD
Unfair Trading Practices in the food supply chain 

EFFAT attended the first meeting of the High-Level Forum for a better functioning of the food supply chain on 15 December 2016. The High-Level Forum main area of work are twofold (i) Unfair Trading Practices in the food supply chain and (ii) upcoming opportunities such as ICT and innovation. The meeting focused primarily on fair and efficient trading practices. Estelle Brentnall, representing EFFAT, stated that when it came to dealings between, on the one hand supermarkets, and on the other hand farming and SMEs in the food industry, EFFAT observed practices that were particularly grievous and had a detrimental impact on the industry and jobs. EFFAT therefore expressed its support for legislative action at EU level to tackle unfair trading practices.
EFFAT affiliates are encouraged to come forward with case studies and ideas for effective proposals on tackling unfair trading practices.
Please contact: e.brentnall@effat.org
European Vocational Skills Week 

The first European Vocational Skills Week took place on 5-9 December 2016 in Brussels. This European Commission initiative aimed to demonstrate the crucial role of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in supporting skills, jobs, innovation and competitiveness.
Estelle Brentnall from the EFFAT Secretariat and Lorenzo Ferrucci from FoodDrinkEurope presented the outcomes (the “toolbox”) of the joint social partners’ project on attracting new talents and managing an ageing workforce in the food and drink industry. They highlighted the importance of partnership in ensuring that VET training across the EU is seen as a valuable learning tool and is responsive to industry needs, and the fact that companies, trade union and employers’ organisations, public authorities and training institutions should work together.
TOURISM
Assembly approves revised Tourism Manifesto

The extraordinary Assembly of the Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs on 12 January 2017 approved the revised Manifesto. The Manifesto will be translated into further languages to facilitate its dissemination, and a short version of the Manifesto will be drafted. The Steering group will propose priorities for a work programme for 2017. All signatory organisations are called upon to set a link to the Manifesto www.tourismmanifesto.eu on their websites
AGRICULTURE
EFFAT Agriculture sector responds to the European Commission communication on European Pillar of Social Rights

On 8 March 2016, the European Commission (COM) launched a public consultation on strengthening the European Union’s social base, the “European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR)”. EFFAT joined the ETUC statement and submitted a detailed response by our agriculture sector.
Read more
COMPANY POLICY
Former SABMiller operations in CEE to be sold to Asahi
 
After the divestment of the PGM business (Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands) to Asahi concluded in October 2016 upon change of control, AB Inbev is now planning to sell for 7.3 billion euros the rest of former SABMiller operations  in Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania) to the Japanese brewer.
This move further strengthens Asahi’s foothold in Europe. The agreement between AB InBev and Asahi is subject to approval of Asahi as a suitable buyer by the European Commission and antitrust approval by the European Commission.
EFFAT considers this development as potentially positive for the future of the factories and employment in former SABMiller Central and Eastern Europe operations. On 24 January in Budapest, the former SABMiller EWC assisted by EFFAT and Syndex will meet Asahi Management to know more about the rationale of the acquisition, and the business and employment strategy of Asahi in Europe.
EC grants EFFAT important EU project
 
Anticipation of change and the sustainable management of structural changes: Promoting innovative actions to strengthen employee involvement and social partners’ cooperation. This is the title of an important EU project which will be carried out by EFFAT in the upcoming two years. The main objectives of the project are:
  • Facilitate cross-border collective bargaining cooperation in EWCs and TNCs operating in the EFFAT sectors.
  • Promote innovative solutions to deal with the anticipation of change and the management of structural changes and restructurings in a sustainable way.
  • The project will particularly insist in familiarising EFFAT affiliates and social partners with transnational company agreements (TCAs). EFFAT is strongly involved in the current debate at EU level among the ETUC, Business Europe and the European Commission regarding the future of TCAs.
In order to develop these actions in a pragmatic way, the EFFAT EWC Coordinators network will be involved in the project, which will also target two transnational companies operating in the EFFAT sectors: Coca-Cola European Partners and McDonald's. Meetings and seminars are scheduled for the next 22 months.
Ongoing and future EWC negotiations
The EFFAT Secretariat is currently involved in the negotiation and re-negotiation of many EWC agreements. In 2017 we expect to conclude and/or to make important steps forward in the negotiation of the following EWC agreements: Coca-Cola European Partners, Ardo, BEL Groupe, Marie Brizard, Bonduelle, Asahi, Bruggen,  Bidvest, Cargill, Lactalis, Marine Harvest, Paulig, Princes, Refresco Gerber,  Tereos and 2 Sisters Food Group.
EFFAT Upcoming Meetings
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EFFAT is the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism sectors. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 2.6 million members towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organization of the IUF.
 
 






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