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Report on Activities by itlpw9937

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									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
 oliver.roethig@uniglobalunion.org
                                         Vice-Presidents
 Research Assistant: Barbara Wettstein   Jörg Reinbrecht, ver.di, Germany
 Barbara.wettstein@uniglobalunion.org
                                         Pia Desmet, BBTK-SETCA, Belgium
 Assistant: Regula Khemiri
 regula.khemiri@uniglobalunion.org       Edgardo Iozia, UIL C.A., Italy

 Brussels Office                         Rob MacGregor, Unite, UK
 Policy Officer:
 Katrine Søndergård (since 01.06.08)
 Katrine.sondergard@uniglobalunion.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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