SME Chamber

GRTU participates at the EuroCommerce Social Affairs Committee Meeting and Social Dialogue Meeting for the Commerce Sector

EuroCommerce held its Social Affairs Committee Meeting and a Social Dialogue Meeting for the Commerce Sector bringing together representatives of both employers and workers on the 12thand 13thMay, in Brussels.

EuroCommerce gave details about a number of projects it will be participating in the fields of social dialogue, retail and commerce. One of the projects is looking into healthy and safety at the place of work focusing on ergonomics, stress at work and psychosocial risks. The project will also produce a country fiche with elaboration on national case studies. Another project is focused on holding a detailed fact-based study on the current 

scenario on the commerce sector covering retail, wholesale, international trade and e-commerce. The project idea is to produce a study which looks at the challenges in the EU commerce labour market taking into account the fast evolution in the sector to be able to understand them and pre-empt solutions.

UNIEuropa and EuroCommerce jointly approved a common document pledging quality apprenticeships showing the commitment of both employers’ and workers’ representatives at European level to value vocational work-based learning but which is conducted in the framework of quality-assured practices to maximise benefits to both learners and employers.

The European Commission presented its Flagship Initiative for the Responsible Management of the Supply Chain in the Garment Sector. This issue touches upon several aspects of sustainable development ranging from safety at work, child labour, use of chemicals, collective rights, and enforcement of national legislation, human rights and other international standards. The proposed initiative is aimed at increasing awareness and support for the need to foster responsible management of the entire supply chain whilst also improving communication on relevant EU actions on strengthening sustainable development hand-in-hand with better coordination between EU institutions and processes. Employers’ representatives showed their support to this initiative whilst raised concerns such as the need for concerted efforts so that the onus of responsibility on supply chain management on small businesses which deal with wide ranges of suppliers may be shifted towards collaborative efforts that may make this more possible to deal with. Direct online commerce was also raised as an issue which is difficult to check and trace.

Moreover, during these meetings, a draft joint letter of European social partners to the European Commission expressing concern on social dialogue and the role of social partners. Whilst the Commission continues to state its commitment towards the strengthening social dialogue, seeking to introduce impact assessment and public stakeholder consultation procedures for European social partner agreements under Article 155 of the EU treaty, may result in effectively weakening European social dialogue.


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