ÖGB succeeded in pushing through important tax reforms for workers

Last year, the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) launched a campaign calling for a massive tax reform in Austria. Last week the Austrian government finally agreed on a tax reform very much in the line of the campaign of the Austrian Trade Unions, “Lohnsteuer runter”.

 The Austrian government reacted to the public campaign and proposals made by the trade unions. The ÖGB mobilised large parts of the labour movement for the campaign over the last months and collected more than 880.000 signatures demanding the reduction of income tax rates. After long negotiations within the Austrian government, supported by the experts of the trade unions, the outcome is a huge success for the labour movement as a whole. Прочети още

Spotlight on women’s strength at Indian port union

The strength of women workers was celebrated in Kandla, India recently as a 90-strong women’s meeting was held by the port union there. ITF dockers’ section secretary Sharon James and ITF Asia/Pacific assistant regional secretary Sangam Tripathy attended the meeting of Transport and Dockworkers’ Union (TDWU) of Kandla members. James credited the TDWU with a very progressive approach to women workers, pointing to the fact that the ITF-affiliated union organises across a range of categories despite operating in a very male-dominated environment.
James met with activists and heard about the challenges they face, particularly regarding proposed development plans in the area. Opportunities for the union to organise and grow were also high on the agenda for discussion.

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OHS in the SSDC – Ports

On the last meeting of SSDC – Ports that took place on 11.06. in Brussels,  4 social partners: 2 employers organizations (ESPO and FIPORT) and 2 trade unions (ETF and IDC) started the discussion on occupational health and safety in ports. Two sub-committees were founded, one for the terminal issues and another for the onboard ones. The main topics to start working on were identified. At the beginning, it will be mainly studies on the current situation.

Another important topic that social partners entered into the social dialogue was training of port workers/dockers where it exists. They accepted that there is also a need to clarify the situation.

Creating the conditions for equality between men and women in dock profession has chances to become the first agreement of the sectoral social dialogue committee – ports.

ETF Dockers’ Section meeting and European Dockworkers Conference

On 4 – 5 March 2014 an ETF Dockers‘ meeting was held in Lisbon to discuss the forthcoming adoption of a European regulation (COM (2013) 296 final) for “establishing a framework on market access to the port services and financial transparency of ports,” whose draft was adopted by the European Commission in May 2013. A vote in the Transport Committee of the European Parliament will take place on 18. 03. 2014.

It was pointed that despite the two-year effort of all stakeholders the proposal still shows several weaknesses.

– Free access to port services as mooring, towage and pilotage conflicts the ports ’public service obligations and threaten safety and security without any clear economic efficiency;

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