Although the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to reorganise the annual conference of the EFFAT TNC-EWC coordinators group into an online event, more than 70 participants had the opportunity to connect on 10 November 2020 to exchange experiences and good practices on a wide range of topics that are more than ever on the trade union agenda.
The exponential number of restructurings announced by transnational companies is unprecedented, putting at stake the employment of thousands of workers in Europe. More than ever, national trade unions and European trade union federations must work together to develop a strategy to anticipate the negative impact that these restructuring processes will have and already have on European workforces. Testimonies from EWC members of large multinational companies confirm this trend with striking examples and demonstrate that multinationals are in clear breach of the rights of workers to be informed and consulted before final decisions are taken compromising the fate of workers.
The discussions resulted in the need to wake up the minds of decision-makers at European and national level to take their responsibility to strengthen workers’ rights to face up to the challenges of restructuring.
Discussions also turned to the use of digital technologies such as the Blockchain, which is intrinsic to the 4th Industrial Revolution, and how trade unions and EWC must participate in and influence its development given the growing impact of this technology on our sectors.
The conference also provided an opportunity to learn more on different projects in which EFFAT is involved, such as the ongoing European project on the impact of technological developments in the food and drink industry, the project proposal on short-term financial interests and the growing role of finances on our sectors and the cooperation project allowing a better understanding of the definition due diligence.
Last but not least, the trade union demands were set out in view of the Brexit which will be officialised on 31 December and the importance of ensuring the protection of workers through free trade agreements.