UNISON wins backing for fair wages fight in Europe

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis, today won the support of European Public Service unions, representing over 40m people, for a fair wages fight across Europe. The unions have pledged to back UNISON’s campaign to secure measures aimed at protecting British public services workers, who are being pushed into the arms of private companies as part of the Government’s privatisation plans.

Dave Prentis said:

“UNISON wants to stop companies making massive profits by cutting pay, pensions, and conditions of its members with a social clause requiring private companies to honour collective agreements.

“What we need is consistency – its no good talking about protecting workers in the UK and then blocking progress in Europe. It flies in the face of Tony Blair’s stated commitment that privatisation would not take place on the back of workers. Last month British Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted for the clause which was carried by the European Parliament. It will now go to the Council of Ministers where we could end up with the incredible position of a British Labour Government vetoing them.”

UNISON has been working hard with Labour MEPs and the Socialist group in the European Parliament to get social clauses inserted into new rules governing procurement.

UNISON has petitioned the European Parliament and the European Commission on the effect of privatisation on low paid women workers.