European Marches
against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusions

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What in the future?

What is at stake regarding the issue of social rights for the European people? What crucial issues should we keep in mind to make our initiatives join in order to better contribute to the construction of the democratic and rightful Europe for which we yearn?

These are some questions that have been worked on in the conference in the frame of the round tables which reported the conclusions of the working groups and of a general debate.

Unemployed, workers, insecure workers, unified for a democratic and social Europe

Georges Debunne, former general secretary of FGTB and former president of ETUC

Dear comrades, Dear friends,

All along in my union activity I kept on saying again and again that the struggle against unemployment could not forget unemployed people. The struggle for purchasing power could not only be at the workers profit. Everybody knows that mass unemployment creates a balance of power in favour of the employers. Any « competition » between unemployed and workers is harmful for the one and the other. Unemployment benefits, when decent and secure jobs are not available, usually protected wages and those who were working.

Nowadays, that's the other way round. Obligations are imposed on the unemployed and if they refuse a precarious, flexible and insecure job, disciplinary measures are imposed, until the point of losing unemployment benefits. Because of that,the minimum wage is less and less respected in collective labour agreements.

It is absurd! Even workers are getting poor! Job cuts are massive. Everyday, we hear that thousands and thousands people will be made redundant. Restructuring plans, relocations, concentrations follow one another leading a all together to the proliferation of precariousness.

Work cannot be degrading, neither demoralizing nor leading to exclusion. It must be the basis of continuity in life and must guarantee a decent and dignified living standard. The current policy does not answer at all to these human needs.

A collective and united jump against social exclusion mechanism is now vital towards unemployed, homeless people, the ones deprived of access to culture, and the ones deprived of For an East – West solidarity of the social movements papers, their children and those who can only count on social incomes.

Fundamental rights must be engraved in the European Constitution. This rush to the abyss run by capitalism must be stopped. The time has come to say no to this hegemony of capitalism, to set objectives and to enter into action to at last achieve a democratic and social Europe.