Eliminating violence against women at work and at home

Trade Unions are fully determined to eliminate violence against women through collective agreements, and their proper implementation with employers, at national, sectoral and company levels.

In a ground-breaking, and unpublished, study ‘Safe at Home-Safe at work’, which will be presented in Madrid on November 24-25 to mark the International Day against Violence against Women (November 25), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) will reveal how trade unions in Europe have addressed violence against women at work and how support at the workplace can help eliminate violence against women at home.

The ETUC is hosting the Madrid conference to share experience of negotiations and agreements at company and sectoral level to combat violence against women and sexual harassment at work.

A survey carried out by the British TUC found that more than half of all women, and nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24, experienced sexual harassment at work. A French survey, carried out in 2014, found that 1 in 5 women had been a victim of sexual harassment.

Pioneering agreements have been signed in several countries including Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands – see https://www.etuc.org/fr/publications/briefing-notes-etuc-project-safe-home-safe-work#.WDRA5vkrJPZ to more details in a briefing on the ETUC project ‘Safe at home, safe at work’.

Such agreements will guide future European trade union actions to eliminate violence against women at work.

The 2007 European Framework Agreement on Violence and Harassment at Work between the European trade union and employers’ organisations led to Europe-wide agreements in the commerce, private security, local government, health and education sectors.

Sexual harassment at work is a serious problem which can have far-reaching repercussions for the victims and impacts on the whole workplace,” said Montserrat Mir, Confederal Secretary of the ETUC. “Together with the employers, we have the means to address it effectively through collective agreements, as our study shows.

A new negotiating issue for trade unions and employers is how victims of violence at home can be supported in the workplace. Domestic violence often follows victims into the workplace, and obviously impacts on productivity and workplace morale. This makes domestic violence a trade union issue.”

Join the “I Swear” campaign!

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On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) launches the next stage of its
“I swear!” campaign. On 25 November each year, according to the UN appeal, governments, social partners and NGOs hold public events to raise the awareness of the problem.

With this good example, we would like to continue our long-standing efforts to combat the instances of violence at home, in public places and at the workplace, to which almost 30 per cent of Bulgarian women become victims.

This is a second stage of the campaign which we called “I swear.” It started during the 43rd Congress of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, which was held in Sofia in 2014 and hosted by FTTUB. Back then, hundreds of men delegates took the oath that they will not exercise, tolerate or support violence against women, and took their pictures in front of the campaign poster. Every man who took this oath received a white ribbon. 30 white doves “came to life” from the portraits, took flight and carried to all corners of the world the message of the liberated woman’s soul and the hope for a better world in which men and women live and work in harmony.

Today, 25 November 2016, we continue the campaign because the slight decline in the violence statistics shows that it is too early to trumpet victory. We want to get more men involved, make them think about violence and become an active part of society. To show them that they should not tolerate abusers among their friends or colleagues; neither take this lightly or fall silent to such actions. We want to tell them: “It is not shameful to be strong, but it is unacceptable to use one’s masculine force to suppress defenseless women.” And to women victims we want to show that there is another world, that abusers are just a minority and the society condemns them. Women should be brave, end their silence and move on to better lives.

Our campaign will continue throughout the year with posters in the capital’s subway, the major railway stations and airports in Bulgaria. Join us and help combat violence against women! Take a photo in front of our “I swear!” poster and post it on the Facebook page of the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria – www.facebook.com/FTTUB. Share it on your personal wall with your friends. This is a big help for victims of violence. Be part of the positive example of truly strong men! Sisters, you also can be active on social networks, invite your friends and colleagues to take the man’s oath, upload their pictures and and share “I swore!”.

ITF and ETF press Lufthansa Technik over negotiations

November 23, 2016

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Ver.di members call on LHT to negotiate

The letter was sent on behalf of the LHT union network on 18 November and appeals to LHT chair and chief executive Carsten Spohr to intervene and ensure that the company resumes negotiations for a full and fair settlement of issues concerning workers in the wide body aircraft maintenance department.

ITF civil aviation section secretary Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez and ETF civil aviation section secretary Francois Ballestero wrote: “According to the information we have received, ver.di has been negotiating in good faith with your company on amendments of the current collective agreements. Ver.di has been willing to lower workers’ standards regarding the future of base maintenance for wide body aircraft, including money, working time and qualifications, in return for an agreement which would grant job security for the next five years.”

They expressed their disappointment that LHT is in return demanding a job security period of only two years. In the interest of co-operative, well-developed industrial relations, they urged Mr Spohr’s intervention.

“Such an action would demonstrate a commitment to good labour relations in Lufthansa Technik not only in Germany but all around the world, in order to avoid an escalation of conflicts and would be an important contribution to a positive and stable future for the company in Germany and worldwide”, they stated.

Ver.di told the ITF that its members were enthusiastically circulating the letter among the workforce.

ETF Press release: EU-QATAR DEAL MUST INCLUDE AVIATION WORKERS’ RIGHTS

Brussels, 14 September 2016

On the eve of the first negotiation round between the EU and Qatar on a horizontal air transport agreement taking place from 19 – 21 September 2016 in Doha, the ETF reiterates its demand that such type of agreements must contribute to a social progress for all aviation workers. Further liberalisation of air transport without proper safeguards can seriously damage the European aviation sector. Прочети още

Vitosha metro station has been opened

2016-07-20 12.13.19A greeting speech of the Sofia Mayor Fandakova gave start to the opening ceremony of the metro station “Vitosha” yesterday, July 20th. She welcomed union representatives too. On the St Ilia’s day the newly built feature was celebrated with a traditional Christian ritual of inauguration and at 2 PM the regular traffic started. But the first train entered the station and stopped in it while it was presented to the official guests.
Among them were the prime minister, the ministers of transport, finance, culture, the representative of the European Commission in Bulgaria, National Assembly deputies and municipal councilors, including, of course, the chairman of the Metropolitan Committee for Transport and Tourism Ekaterina Yordanova. Both with her colleague Mr. Barbalov, Vice – Mayor and Chairman of the Finance Committee, they received special thanks from Mayor Yordanka Fandakova. She stressed that the project would not be carried out without the assistance of the government, the EC and the structural funds, but also without the people who worked on it – employees of the metropolitan Metropolitan headed by the Executive Director Eng. Bratoev, designers and builders. Some of them were rewarded for their excellent, efficient and timely completed work. The Prime Minister Borisov joined the congratulations. Прочети още

Bulgarian input to the ETUC project “Safe at Home, Safe at Work”

Violence against women in the workplace and the acts of domestic violence with all their impact on working life are the two main focus areas of the research within the project of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) “Safe at Home, Safe at work”. The President of FTTUB Ekaterina Yordanova, vice president of the ETUC Women’s Committee is a member of the steering group once again. The project covers 11 EU countries and Bulgaria is one of them.

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From July 6th to 9th, the independent researcher of the project Jane Pillinger held a series of meetings in Sofia. Прочети още

ETF DEMANDS SOCIAL DIALOGUE IN AVIAPARTNER

On Tuesday 14 June 2016, members of the European Transport Workers’ Federation’s
(ETF) Ground Staff Committee, including delegates from Belgian ETF affiliates ACV
Transcom, BTB and CGSLB, gathered in front of Aviapartner’s headquarters in
Zaventem to denounce the lack of social dialogue within the company and to urge the
management to meet its legal obligations in that regard.
On numerous occasions the ETF and its affiliated unions approached Aviapartner’s top
management to address the company’s deplorable industrial relations. Aviapartner
management neither informs nor consults the unions on the company’s economic
situation, structure of employment or decisions that most likely lead to substantial
changes. It is a clear violation of their legal obligation under EU legislation. In some
countries local management has gone as far as organising direct information sessions
for individual workers thereby circumventing the role of workers’ representatives.
Robert Hengster, Chair of the ETF Ground Staff Committee, commented: “It is a
disgrace to see that a multinational company operating in several EU member states
deliberately ignores its information and consultation obligations vis-à-vis its staff. We
call upon Aviapartner to live up to the company values that they publicly advertise
(strong team spirit, dialogue, mutual respect, etc).” Прочети още

“NO” to Sofia Airport concession

On June 6, 2016 at the Museum of Aviation at Sofia Airport was held a meeting of the employees, organized by the Trade unions affiliated to FTTUB and “Podkrepa”. There was a single point on the agenda – Discussion of the upcoming concession of Sofia airport. Ekaterina Yordanova, President of FTTUB and an expert team of the Union also attended the meeting as guests.

The social tension at Sofia Airport is palpable and it has been constantly growing with regard to the formal decision of its concession, officially announced by the Government on 17 May 2016 and especially with the formal opening of the procedure on 2 June 2016 – when the documentation which is already available to potential candidates has been published on the site of the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications.

Very emotional speeches sounded at the meeting. Employees heatedly discussed various ways in which they could legitimately express their opposition to the idea of granting a concession of a profitable venture, which is one of the most valuable state assets and is also one of strategic importance.

We remind that at the trade union meeting in November 2015, Ekaterina Yordanova expressed FTTUB principal disagreement with the idea of funding an indebted enterprise with the profits from a successful and gainful venture and declared their determination to defend workers’ jobs and the future of the company. FTTUB firmly believes that the problems of Bulgarian State Railways accumulated during the management of a number of governments, should be a commitment of the state and all political forces rather than seeking resources only in the transport system to deal with them.

It was decided that  another letter should be written on behalf of the trade unions to the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Transport.

Along with that, a subsequent meeting has been scheduled for June 20, at which to plan the specifics of various protest events and to announce a date for their begging.

Employees unanimously united against the concession of Sofia Airport, especially at a time when there are only three installments of the loan from the European Investment Bank left and the Airport has already fully repaid the loan to the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.