BEERG: ETUI’s “Benchmarking Working Europe” Report Recommends Bolstering Public Bargaining as Antidote to Falling Trust in EU

March 29, 2019

A new report by the European Trade Union Institute that links falling trust in the European Union with stagnating wages and fear of the future endorses shoring up collective bargaining as a solution, including promoting multi-employer bargaining.

Among the various findings of the report:

  • In ten EU countries, wages are at or below their 2009 levels.  This group includes the UK, Belgium, and a number of southern- and eastern-European countries.

  • In nearly all EU countries, trust in the EU has dropped dramatically.  However, current trust levels are higher than that of 2013, closer to the economic downturn.

  • The future of work unsettling workers?  The report claims that the quality of jobs being offered is in many ways decreasing due to nonstandard forms of work, such as the gig economy and the rise in part-time jobs, contributing to worker dissatisfaction with the EU.

Declining union membership rolls don’t dissuade the authors from putting their trust in collective bargaining.  Specific suggested actions include issuing country-specific recommendations promoting multi-employer bargaining and implementing measures that would elevate unions’ participation in “social dialogue.”

Read the full BEERG Global Labor Report.