Trick or Treaty? The EU conundrum
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is meeting today and tomorrow and the euro zone crisis is of course top of the agenda. But the union solution is not the zero-sum game being played out by Europe’s leaders. Our position could be described as “neither Merkozy nor Cameron”, because we don’t think that Treaty change is necessary to solve the crisis.
In a tersely worded letter to Europe’s leaders, ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Segol has set out a different view about the nature of the crisis:
“Your common political leadership is essential to prevent a collapse of our economies, recession, mass unemployment and social unrest. Don’t stifle growth and jobs. Don’t imprison EU countries in an economic straitjacket.”
And she has demanded a trade union role in negotiations over any treaty change so that people’s views are reflected and workers’ rights protected, through a social progress protocol.
Unions do not support a Treaty which embeds permanent austerity, and we do no believe that the European people will either. Without protection for workers’ rights and living standards, we are raising the threat of opposing the changes proposed. The UK Prime Minister could soon find out that he is not the only one who can make demands!