Statement of the “Forum Social Europe – European Network of Trade Unionists”

Statement of the “Forum Social Europe
European Network of Trade
Unionists”

“Forum Social Europe – European Network of Trade
Unionists” (FSE) met in Brussels on 9-10 June to discuss the
political and social consequences of  the economic crisis in
Europe and the need for trade unions and other social forces to
respond. 

The meeting heard reports from a number of countries, among them
Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy and Portugal. In all these
countries, and in many others, trade unions, workers and people in
general have experienced forceful attacks on wages, working
conditions, public services and social benefits –
unemployment has grown and poverty has increased. In many countries
national collective agreements, pensions and trade union rights
have been considerably cut and weakened – not through
negotiations with trade unions, but through government
decrees. 

In this way, governments, employers, European institutions and
the International Monetary Fund are trying to make workers pay for
the effects of the financial an economic crisis, even though we
have no responsibility for the neo-liberal policies, the
redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top and the
speculation economy which have created the crisis. The situation is
dramatic. If we are not able to stop this development, the trade
union and labour movement may possibly face a historic defeat in
Europe. 

The situation calls for massive mobilisation across Europe to
prevent such a defeat. The FSE network therefore appeals to our
colleagues in Europe and to all trade unions to take immediate and
co-ordinated actions to prevent such a defeat. 

We propose: 

  • A comprehensive information campaign to inform workers all over
    Europe on concrete developments in each country in order to prevent
    workers from being played out against each other.
  • To mobilise and organise support across Europe to workers who
    decide to take the fight against austerity programmes and attacks
    on wages, workings conditions, pensions and social programmes.
    Their struggle is our struggle.
  • To organise as soon as possible a European workers’
    conference to strengthen our resistance and to discuss our
    situation and develop demands, alternatives and strategies to
    replace the failed neo-liberal policies and abolish all forms of
    financial speculation – to create jobs and to change to an
    environmentally and socially sustainable economy in Europe.
  • That the manifestation planned for 29 September 2010 should be
    organised as an all-European event, with demonstrations in several
    capitals and a main manifestation in Brussels.

 

“Forum Social Europe – European Network of
Trade Unionists”
“Forum Social
Europe” is a network of left wing trade unionists from
several European countries, founded 12 years ago. The starting
point was the fact that living and working conditions are
increasingly influenced by European policy and that trade unions do
not influence this process sufficiently. The aim of the Forum is to
encourage a broad societal debate about the development of Europe
and European policy in order to design a political alternative to
the dominant neo-liberal logic. This will also contribute to
European trade unions becoming a strong movement overcoming their
institutional and national barriers. The members of the Forum are
convinced that a strong and autonomous trade union movement is
indispensable for the creation of a social Europe. We support a
process of social development of Europe in which the employees and
their unions are protagonists – in accordance with our
conviction that the unions have to be a movement in the first place
and should not be constrained by institutional limits.

 

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Forfatter: For Velferdsstaten

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