Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Unions: Europe-wide project needed

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions says a job creation drive would help give hope to millions

A new Europe-wide recovery programme focusing on job creation and youth unemployment is needed to give hope to millions, it has been claimed.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) joined forces with its counterparts to demand the promotion of the European Social Model.

The joint call was made ahead of the European Trade Union Confederation's (ETUC) mid-term conference being hosted in Dublin Castle.

Congress general secretary David Begg said the event was a crucial opportunity for unions to demonstrate coherent and concrete alternatives exist to current destructive policies.

"Trust and confidence in the very worth of the European project have been eroded and undermined in recent years - not least among trade unions - because we have seen the European Social Model undermined and weakened," he said.

"That means lower living standards, lower employment standards and weaker social protection for millions of European citizens. If we are to ensure the future of Europe, we must ensure the future of the European Social Model."

Mr Begg, who will address the conference along with union leaders from the UK, France, Sweden, Italy and Germany, said a new European Recovery Programme is needed that will focus on the creation of good, decent jobs and tackle youth unemployment to help keep our young at home.

"Above all, it means giving hope to millions across Europe that the future can be better," he added.

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