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European Trade Union Confederation

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General Secretary
The ETUC expects the campaign to raise awareness on the necessity of involving workers and safety committees to improve prevention throughout ages and workplaces and of the need for actions on the legislative level to improve working conditions and in the OHS educational and training systems in Europe.
Over the years, the European Union (EU) has gradually increased its influence in the areas that most affect workers. In response, Europe's trade unions came together to form the ETUC, so as to speak with a single voice on behalf of European workers and have a stronger say in EU decision-making. Since 2008, Europe’s economic and financial crisis and the introduction of austerity policies have reinforced the need for a body to defend workers’ interests at EU level.

The ETUC defends fundamental social values such as solidarity, equality, democracy, social justice and cohesion.

It fights for:
• high quality jobs for all
• a high level of social protection
• gender equality and fair pay
• equal opportunities
• social inclusion and fundamental rights
• good health and safety at work
• freedom of movement for European workers, and an end to abuse and exploitation
• high quality public services that are accessible to all
• a European framework to raise the standard of national social legislation
• action to combat climate change while protecting workers’ jobs
• promotion of these European social values in other parts of the world

The last ETUC Congress in Paris in 2015 adopted a Manifesto that lays out demands in the areas of economic governance and employment policy, trade union rights and social dialogue, ambitious social standards and fair globalisation. The Manifesto rejects austerity policies, imposed without democratic accountability, which have forced workers to pay for a crisis they did not cause. The Paris Manifesto calls on European decision-makers to change their approach without delay and to invest in full employment and quality jobs, so as to create “a strong economy that serves the people” and reverse the growth in poverty and social exclusion.

The Manifesto also calls for social dialogue and collective bargaining to be strengthened across Europe, and urges the EU to aim for social progress as its top priority
Vårt kampanjlöfte: 
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) – representing 45 million members from 89 trade union organisations in 39 European countries – is backing the “Healthy Workplaces for all ages” campaign coordinated by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and launched today by European Commissioner Thyssen.

EU-OSHA’s campaign aims to promote sustainable work and healthy ageing from the beginning of people’s working lives and will run through to 2017 with a series of events, activities and publications.

“Europe has an ageing workforce and longer working lives, and working conditions need to take this into consideration” said Peter Scherrer, Deputy General Secretary of the ETUC, “Trade unions and employers have an obvious common interest in helping people to stay healthily employed all through their longer working lives. The ETUC will actively support this campaign to improve risk assessment and promote good practice to workers, employers, researchers and other actors.”

“Workers must be provided with safe and healthy work throughout their working lives” said Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary. “The EU should be working on a broad approach that includes health, safety and wellbeing, through strong legislation and a smart OSH strategy in place. ““We need training to improve and update the skills of older workers. More attention should be paid to the gender dimension of health and safety.”

ETUC will contribute to EU-OSHA’s campaign and will regularly inform and encourage its members using the campaign as a preventive tool.

The ETUC’s health and safety legislative priorities include achieving binding workplace exposure limits for 50 of the common causes of occupational cancer (a substantial increase from the current 5 substances with workplace exposure limits), as well as regulation to deal with nanoparticles; psycho-social risks including stress, violence and harassment; and neck, back and elbow pain.
European Trade Union Confederation
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Viktor KEMPA