Report on Activities UNI europa Finance http://www.uniglobalunion.org/finance Staff Steering Committee Nyon Office President Head of Department: Oliver Roethig Allan Bang, FSU, Denmark email@example.com Vice-Presidents Research Assistant: Barbara Wettstein Jörg Reinbrecht, ver.di, Germany Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org Pia Desmet, BBTK-SETCA, Belgium Assistant: Regula Khemiri email@example.com Edgardo Iozia, UIL C.A., Italy Brussels Office Rob MacGregor, Unite, UK Policy Officer: Katrine Søndergård (since 01.06.08) Katrine.firstname.lastname@example.org Titular members: Area IV Stefaan Decock, LBC-NVK, Belgium Area I Larry Broderick, IBOA, Ireland Catherine Lejeune, FSPBA-CGT, France Ged Nichols, ACCORD, United Kingdom Area V Agnes Tolmie, UNITE, United Kingdom Helga Fichtinger, GPA, Austria Hans-Jürgen Kummetat, VER.Di, Germany Area II Henrik Frimand-Meier, DFL, Denmark Area VI Lillemor Smedenvall, FSU, Sweden Rudolf Kubasek, OSPPP, Czech Republic Area III Delmiro Carreira, SBSI, Portugal Area VII and VIII N.N. Giuseppe Gallo, FIBA, Italy Nuria Jubany, Comfia CC.OO., Spain Evi Zaimi, OTOE, Greece UNI europa Finance activities are imbedded in the overall work of UNI Finance Global Union. The political platform for the work of UNI europa Finance is outlined in the UNI Finance Programme. It defines the key sector-specific policies as well as the roles of affiliates and the Secretariat in implementing them. The main aim is to address the challenges of globalisation and multinationals. The overall purpose is to pool the strengths of affiliates and organise joint action at global, regional, national and local level. The UNI Finance Rules provide an integrated structure for UNI Finance at global level and in the four regions. They are complemented by provisions specifying the Rules in terms of UNI europa Finance. Key Priorities UNI europa Finance’s workplan 2008/2009 build on that of the previous year taking account of developments and new challenges, in particular the financial crisis. It was adopted by the UNI europa Finance Steering Group and is based on the global work plan of UNI Finance as well as the UNI Finance Programme, the political platform adopted by the UNI Finance Conference in 2006. In light of the financial crisis, it was decided that addressing the financial crisis and the financial reform process is the overriding priority. Other issues are dealt with if time and resources are available. • Action on financial crisis includes: - Promoting to complement national and international supervisory regime with a bottom-up approach that allows UNI Finance to provide information on operational procedures within financial institutions that hinder regulatory objectives and excellent customer service. It is based on UNI’s global network of finance unions covering the large majority of banks and insurance companies around the world. - Pressing banking and insurance companies to ensure transparency to employees and unions with regard to restructuring processes and their impact on staff in all their respective countries of operation. Employee representatives must be consulted on the action taken by management at all levels and compulsory redundancies should be avoided. - Pressing governments to ensure that companies that have been bailed out or (partly) nationalised have a particular responsibility to adhere to core labour standards and to engage in constructive industrial relations and social dialogue with trade unions at all levels. This includes promoting international framework agreements. - Developing a charter of responsible advice and against predatory selling, followed by a campaign to sign up banks and insurance companies. - The campaign will combine action at company, national, regional and world level and will target political institutions, consumers, regulators, investors, media, NGOs and companies. Other priorities include: • Global agreements in Dexia and Barclays will be pursued as well as the potential for agreements in Unicredit and Nordea. • The project on an ethical and social finance industry will be pursued with a changed focus on the financial crisis. Global Financial Crisis UNI europa Finance plays a key role in the global and cross-regional work of UNI Finance on the financial crisis. UNI Finance has worked together closely with the ETUC, ITUC, TUAC, and the other global unions. For UNI Finance, the focus is on re-shaping the financial system and overcoming the financial crisis. After consultation of affiliates, the UNI Finance Steering Group adopted a Key Issues Paper “For a Responsible and Sustainable Finance Industry” in March 2009. It addresses five separate but interlinked aspects: Employees at the Centre of a Responsible and Sustainable Finance Industry; A Bottom-up Approach to Supervision and Transparency; Restructuring and Remuneration; Stabilising and Reforming the Financial System; and Financial Education. The overarching message is: “Consumers have the right to good advice; finance workers have the right to give good advice.” The paper serves as the foundation for representations to European and national as well international institutions, governments, financial supervisors and regulators at all levels. It is also the basis for dialogue with banks and insurance companies. The main elements of the document are summarised in a 20-point statement that is also available as a leaflet in English, French, German and Spanish. The Key Issues Paper builds on UNI europa Finance and UNI Finance statements since autumn 2007. This includes a statement on 13 demands on the regulation of financial markets (May 2008) and a proposal to assist with the monitoring and supervision of a new financial regulatory framework (November 2008). The annual UNI europa Finance conference (Vienna 6-7 November) focused on the financial crisis (see below). In February 2009, a G20 workshop of key UNI Finance unions was held to discuss the key issues paper and a joint approach on the financial crisis. Towards the European institutions, UNI europa Finance has insisted since 2007 that systemic risks are also caused by remuneration and incentive systems for ordinary finance employees as well as resulting sale practices. These concerns are reflected in the De Larosière Report on financial supervision prepared for the EU and in the subsequent Commission’s communication on financial reform of March. In November 2008, UNI Finance wrote to international and European regulators to urge them to adopt a structured process for bottom-up monitoring by employees, with a view to strengthen the financial regulatory framework. In April 2009, UNI europa Finance made five policy submissions – remuneration in the finance industry; financial supervision; retail investment products; and directors’ pay, financial education – reflecting the policies adopted in the Key Issues Paper. Intervention has been made also with CEBS (Committee of European Banking Supervisors). UNI europa Finance has had meetings with key members of the European Parliament to discuss the situation and how to work together. After some reluctance, the European employers’ organisations of the banking industry discussed the financial crisis with UNI Finance. At the meeting in January 2009, it was agreed to continue the talks and exchange views. The financial crisis is also addressed bilaterally with the different employers’ associations and within the framework of the banking social dialogue. In the context of the ILO a global dialogue forum was held on the financial crisis (February 2009). UNI Finance, employers and governments agreed conclusions that stressed the need of a social and labour dimension in addressing the crisis and the reform process. The ILO in cooperation with the social partners should monitor and analyse proposals and actions at international level and should be actively involved in the discussions in the relevant international forums. The social partners signed a joint letter with the conclusions to key political actors at European and world level. Leading up to the G20 meeting on 2 April, UNI Finance organised a Worldwide Week of Action on the financial crisis (23 March-1 April). Affiliates were asked to organise meetings and make representations to governments on UNI Finance’s policies. UNI Finance participated in the demonstration in London/UK on 28 March. Affiliates also took part in demonstrations in France and Austria. Belgian and Italian affiliates organised meetings during the week of action. UNI Finance conducted an international press conference on sales practices and the pressure on finance employees with contributions from American, Brazilian, British and Danish colleagues. Over the year, UNI europa Finance also contributed to the work of UNI Finance and the global unions on the G20 summits, the International Monetary Fund, OECD and Financial Stability Forum/Board. In this context, UNI Finance also discussed IMF aid to Iceland on behalf of the Icelandic finance union. Surveys of affiliates on the impact of the financial crisis were conducted in August and October 2008. A special website was created “Global Financial Crisis Watch” (October 2008). Its purpose is to disseminate information from affiliates on the crisis and be the voice of finance workers worldwide on the issue. A UNI Finance blog on the financial crisis was launched to provide information on the financial crisis by UNI Finance and affiliates (March 2009). UNI-Europa Finance Conference 2008 (Vienna, 6-7 November) The theme of the conference was “Financial Crisis: Eyes on the Risk Takers. For an Ethical and Social Finance Industry” Key topics were – within the overall framework of the financial crisis – “For an ethical and social business model”, “For ethical and social regulation”, “For a diverse finance industry”, “For socially and ethically acting companies”, “For a social and ethical finance industry in Central and Eastern Europe” Other key topics were “Collective Bargaining Strategy” and “Organising”. The UNI-Europa Finance Conference also serves as an occasion for bringing together colleagues from all UNI Finance. Strengthening trade unionism UNI Finance seeks to facilitate not only the recruitment of new members but also to affiliate those unions in the finance sector that are not yet part of UNI, as well as to setting up trade union structures where they do not yet exist. Steering Group meetings: Luxembourg, March 2008; Luxembourg, June 2008; Nyon, Septem-ber 2008, Brussels, February 2009, Brussels, March 2009). For the major areas of activities coordination groups operate that are composed of one representative per Area and led by a Presidium member: Regulation and DG Market: Allan Bang, Bank Social Dialogue: Pia Desmet, Insurance Social Dialogue: Jörg Reinbrecht, EWCs/SEs: Edgardo Iozia, Collective Bargaining: Pia Desmet. Other lead responsibilities of Presidium members are: Eastern and Central Europe: Allan Bang, Multinationals/Offshoring: Rob MacGregor, Central Banks: Edgardo Iozia. UNI-Europa Finance supports the annual meetings of its Mediterranean Area (Area 3/UNIMED); the 2008 meeting was held in Cyprus. Solidarity actions were conducted in support of OTOE/Greece on the Bank of Greece. In cooperation with affiliates, the Regions and UNI’s Trade Union Development Department, UNI Finance is involved in training exercises on trade union development and organising. The UNI Finance News Digest is published giving an overview of information available on the UNI Finance website in English. EWC and Multinationals UNI-Europa Finance activities on multinational companies are organised in a decentralised way and are conducted in cooperation between trade union alliances, EWC and global works council networks, the UNI-Europa Finance Steering Groups and the Secretariat as well as the world structure (Multinationals Network). A Multinationals Task Force meets annually. Activities are guided by the UNI-Europa Finance strategies on “Multinational companies, EWCs and SEs” and “Mergers and acquisitions”. The objective of the multinationals network is to protect and further the interests of employees within multinational companies. In this respect, the network enhances cooperation among affiliates and employees’ representatives, coordinates activities and continuously disseminates information to UNI Europa Finance and all affiliates. The influence of certain national trade unions in multinationals play a key role in strengthening trade unions and workers’ representatives in subsidiaries in other countries. Activities at European level are also a building block for initiatives on global framework agreements and for monitoring corporate social responsibility in companies. With Danske Bank, the first global framework agreement with a European bank was signed (September 2008). A further agreement exists in National Australia Group. Similar agreements at regional level exist in First Caribbean International Bank (2005) and Barclays Africa (renewed 2008) as well as in the context of EWCs in Dexia (2002), Axa (2005) and Unicredit (2007). UNI Finance is engaged in discussions with Barclays, Dexia, ING, Nordea and UNICredit on negotiating global framework agreements. Further targets include Allianz, Axa and Santander for trade union alliances. A UNI Finance trade union network was established in Barclays (March 2008) and Dexia (September 2008). A Multinationals Task Force meeting was held in December 2008 in Milan in cooperation with the Italian affiliate UIL-CA. It was organised as part of the project "Establishing new EWC's: updating agreements, enforcing participation, integration and cohesion for European workers" with the financial support of the EU. A cooperation agreement between UNI Global Union and the social rating agency vigeo was signed following from discussions with UNI Finance. European works councils are in place in more than 40 companies. The agreement in Credit Agricole was renewed. Collective bargaining The UNI-Europa Finance Conference 2008 unanimously adopted a “Statement on a UNI- Europa Finance Strategy on Transnational Collective Bargaining” addressing three elements: the UNI-Europa Finance Collective Bargaining Network, joint cross-border campaigning on collective bargaining, and potential negotations for cross-national agreements in multinationals. The decision was preceded by a consultation exercise based on a statement adopted by the 2007 Conference that also served as guidance on transnational collective bargaining in the meantime. Since 2005, the Collective Bargaining Network continues as part of the general UNI- Europa Finance activities. Its purpose is to provide a self-sustaining platform for information and cooperation. The network also involves EWC representatives. An interactive database provides information on collective bargaining and EWC’s (publicly accessible). The network is currently run in cooperation between the Secretariat and LBC- NVK/Belgium. A meeting was held in February 2009 under the headline “Concluding collective agreements in the Finance sector under different national prerequisites”. In cooperation with UNI-Europa Finance, a number of affiliates meet regularly to discuss collective bargaining issues for banking (Berlin Group) and insurance (Rome Group) respectively. Topics of the Berlin Group were performance related pay (April 2008) and sale targets and stress (October 2008); for the Rome Group cross-border coordination of unions and off-shoring (June 2008) and on the development of collective bargaining cooperation of insurance trade unions in Europe (February 2009). Supranational regulation The finance sector is increasingly characterised by international regulation. In Europe, EU integration has resulted effectively in an integrated market for financial services. In Europe, activities are guided by the UNI-Europa Finance strategy on “Influencing EU policies on financial services”. UNI Europa Finance has institutionalised consultation meetings with the European Commission (with two meetings yearly) to discuss regulatory and policy activities of the EU on financial services. Key issues included: the financial crisis, capital requirement directive, credit rating agencies, money laundering, mortgage credit markets, substitute investment products, and the implications of private equity, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds. This is complemented by lobbying activities vis-à-vis all the EU institutions and towards national governments. Besides on the financial crisis, UNI-Europa Finance made a submission on financial inclusion. UNI Finance, together with TUAC, replied to an OECD consultation on financial education. Further cooperation is planned with TUAC on Corporate Governance, focusing on compensation systems, and more particularly the issue of sales and advice, in a bottom-up approach. UNI-Europa Finance sent a letter to over 100 members of the European Parliament addressing the importance of diversity in the finance industry, based on the statement from the Conference in 2007. Key people in the European institutions also received letters from UNI-Europa Finance on the 13 demands for better financial regulation and on the “monitoring proposal”. Social dialogue Activities are guided by the UNI-Europa Finance’s strategy on European social dialogue. The aims are to define and give visibility to objectives, roles and working methods and to contribute to shared expectations and ambitions. UNI-Europa Finance is involved in social dialogue with the employers in the banking sector: Banking Committee of European Social Affairs (BCESA), European Savings Banks Group (ESBG), European Association of Cooperative Banks (GEBC). The social partners conducted a project on demographic developments in the finance industry (2005/2006). A key issue was workload and stress. Negotiations on a joint statement failed. On the initiative of UNI-Europa Finance, the social partners have reached preliminary agreement on principles for conducting the social dialogue. The aim is to enhance cooperation and further results. The preliminary work programme includes a follow up on the implementation of the Life Long Learning joint paper; an evaluation of the enlargement project; and discussion of the results of the Dublin Foundation study on trends in the finance sector. In the European insurance sector, the partners of UNI-Europa Finance are: European Insurance Committee (CEA), Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE), International Organisation for Insurance Intermediaries (BIPAR). The social partners are currently negotiating a joint declaration on ‘Demography’, focussing on Work-Life Balance, Life Long Learning, and Stress and Health at work. There are also plans of developing a Booklet of best practices within the three topics mentioned. The two dialogues have in 2008 run each a project on developing industrial relations and social dialogue in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary with two workshops and a conference each. Central Banks UNI-Europa Finance’s Committee for Central Banks is an advisory body as well as a self- sustaining platform of affiliates for cooperation and coordination on central bank matters. The 2008 annual meeting focused on the independance of national central banks, specialisation among central banks, social dialogue as well as supervision and the financial crisis. The President of the Committee is Luc Pletinckx (LBC-NVK/Belgium); the Vice- Presidents are Marie Scott (UNITE/UK) and Helmut Rötzheim (ver.di/Germany). UNI-Europa Finance has a formal dialogue arrangement on behalf of 60,000 staff with the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) represented by the management of the European Central Bank (plenary meetings twice yearly). The objective of the dialogue is to discuss quantitative and qualitative aspects of employment in the ESCB. UNI-Europa Finance argues for a decentralised system that safeguards the core activities of central banks through the implementation of the principle of subsidiarity.
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