UNI Deputy GS Alke Boessiger used her platform at the FIST-CISL conference to promote a social Europe which puts human and labour rights at the centre of its agenda.
The meeting was hosted in Rome by UNI affiliate FIST-CISL, who have broken through for Italian workers by increasing their membership by 75,000 over the past few years to 420,000 members.
“The European Union must focus its energy on improving working and living conditions for all citizens in the EU,” urged Boessiger. “We need to move away from an EU that continues to build an exclusive neo-liberal market the impoverishes existing labour standards.”
Boessiger called on Italian unions to help restore faith in democracy and reverse the tide of inequality which is blighting Europe.
UNI Global Union’s Deputy GS also paid tribute to retiring general secretary Pierangelo Raineri, who has been a stalwart of the UNI family and welcomed the election of the new GS Davide Guarini.
As well as welcoming the new leadership team at FIST-CISL, Boessiger called on the newly-elected European Parliament and commission to put people at the centre of their plans.
“We urge a comprehensive and legally binding program to ensure that workers are guaranteed a fair deal at work,” said Boessiger. “We have three fundamental demands for the EU – strengthen national and sectoral collective bargaining, make sure that self-employed workers have the right to collective representation and to negotiate decent working conditions for the workers of Europe.”