Social & Labour rights in times of austerity and deregulation: Strengthen and connect struggles in Europe November 25&26 – Brussels

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During two days of plenaries and workshops, we will discuss the urgency of an ecological transition, the digitalisation and internationalisation of productive processes, the political and social impact of migration and the necessity to defend commons and public services. We will exchange views about our struggles and practices across Europe and try to define common axes for action.We will also debate how to confront EU policies and institutions from our national and local perspectives.

Participate, contribute, register!

The European Union – in accordance with most member states – continues imposing austerity and antisocial policies. These policies have serious negative consequences : millions of jobs have been lost, wages are frozen or cut, flexibility and precariousness are growing dramatically, health, social protection, public services and collective bargaining systems are being dismanteled. Millions of young workers are forced to migrate from the periphery to the centre of Europe, with difficult access to housing and healthcare. In addition, fiscal avoidance, tax heavens and unfair taxation systems are weakening budgetary capacities of the states and institutions to respond to social and ecological needs.

Digitalisation and internationalisation are deeply modifying productive systems, challenging the strategies of trade unions and social movements. Moreover, the European Union and member states should invest billions for a fair transition, for jobs, for schools, hospitals and other infrastructures to respond to social needs and welcome the millions of refugees fleeing war and misery.

But the future proposed by European elites is not reassuring : proposals held in the 5 Presidents Report, the REFIT program or free-trade agreements under negotiation (TTIP, CETA & TiSA) will attack – under the pressure of public debt repayment and maintaining international competitiveness – the achievements of decades of workers’ and popular movements’ struggles.

We have shown different forms of resistance in the last years opposing these policies. But we have also been witnesses to an increasing repression and criminalisation of protest.

This context raises urgent questions :
Which common strategies to change this context ? How to deal with EU power ?
Which collectives rights are necessary for the 21st century ?
Which common campaigns are we able to build ?
How to be stronger in our diversity ?

There are many alternatives : fair wages, less working hours for more jobs, access to public health, housing and education, clean air and water, but also more democracy, more solidarity and more liberties.

Working Axes
Working groups will present analysese and proposals during the conference
The holding of the proposed working groups will depend on sufficient participation

  • 1. Change in working places: poductive changes (digitalisation, internationalisation) ; competitiveness ; TU strategies (organisational issues, collective agreements) ; industrial policies ; ..
  • 2. Fair ecological transition
  • 3. Migrants, workers, precarious: all united!: migration issues, gender, precarity, mobility
  • 4. Commons and public services

Transversal questions : Europe/Institutions/Treaties; Struggles and convergence; repression and democracy;...

Written contributions
If you have already worked on these thematics and want to contribute to the Conference, please send us a written contribution. We will be happy to use them in the different working groups.

Contact info@altersummit for any question!