Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 348

Posts Tagged ‘labour’

Future of flexible workers and the modern organisation of labour

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 3 Maggio 2017

opportunita-lavoroIn the WRR’s publication For the Sake of Security. The future of flexible workers and the modern organisation of labour , Monique Kremer, Robert Went and André Knottnerus describe and analyse the increasing flexibility of work, how the organisation of labour is changing in various ways, what the driving forces are behind this, what the effects are, and what answers can be provided by the government and other parties involved. The Netherlands is the European leader when it comes to the proportion of self-employed workers and temporary contracts. The number of people with a temporary contract or working for their own account now amounts to a third of all workers. Flexibilisation is becoming increasingly widespread and more structural in nature. Work is also becoming more and more hybrid, with new combinations and blends of entrepreneurship, work, and consumption. People can earn money in the sharing economy, self-employed workers are sometimes also employees, and there are “intrapreneurs”, i.e. entrepreneurial employees within companies.
However, these trends do not only have positive consequences for the economy and society. Too much flexibilisation can adversely affect the earning power of the Dutch economy, if it means less training and innovation. And it can also lead to psychological uncertainty (stress, lack of recognition) and uncertainty about one’s life course. That is a problem that particularly affects young people when they want to buy a house or start a family. New and vulnerable groups are developing with a great deal of uncertainty about their income and social security situation.
A return to the labour market of the past is both impossible and undesirable. But government and businesses can adapt the amount and kind of flexibilisation to the nature of the work involved. The Dutch government can draw up legislation for that purpose and can set a good example as an employer. The social partners also have a responsibility, for example as regards modernising collective labour agreements and encouraging employer organisations by creating scope for entrepreneurship and both formal and informal learning. In addition, new forms of security can be built in to compensate for the effects of flexibilisation. Changes can be made in the existing social security system to reduce the differences between employees with a permanent position and flexible workers. At the same time, labour market developments demand a new long-term perspective as regards security.

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Ease access to labour market for asylum-seekers to boost integration, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 aprile 2017

european parliamentAsylum seekers should be able to work in the EU no later than two months after applying for asylum, instead of the current nine months, said Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Tuesday.But for reasons of labour market policies, and especially regarding youth unemployment levels, member states may verify whether a vacancy could be filled through preferential access by their nationals, other EU citizens or by third-country nationals lawfully residing in the country, they added.To improve their integration prospects and self-sufficiency, applicants for international protection should also get access to language courses from the moment their application is filed, say MEPs.In amending the directive on reception conditions for asylum-seekers, MEPs aim to ensure equal and high reception standards in all member states, which should contribute to a more dignified treatment and fairer distribution of applicants across the Union.
Detention of asylum-seekers should be a measure of last resort and should always be based on a decision by a judicial authority, MEPs say. Detention or any confinement of children, whether unaccompanied or within families, should be prohibited, they add.
Member states must ensure that every unaccompanied minor gets a guardian from the moment of their arrival in the EU, as well as immediate access to health care and education under the same conditions as national minors, conclude MEPs.Parliament´s rapporteur for the proposal, Sophia In ‘t Veld (ALDE, NL), said: “Today we show that the European Parliament can agree sustainable and progressive solutions.On one element, we all agreed immediately: children should not be detained on any condition. I am pleased that this Parliament is willing to stand up for better protection of child asylum seekers. Detention is never in the best interests of a child.Newcomers in Europe need support to be able to learn the language immediately so they can start to integrate right away. It is in everyone’s interest that they participate as soon as possible in the host society and language is the starting point.”
The committee approved its changes to the draft legislation by 42 votes to nine, with three abstentions. MEPs also backed the opening of inter-institutional negotiations and the composition of the negotiating team. This decision needs to be endorsed by Parliament as a whole before beginning talks with the Council and the Commission on the final form of the text.

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A labour shortage looms in Asia

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 febbraio 2017

labour-shortageTHE agencies are anonymous and unobtrusive amid the glamorous hustle of Shanghai, the better to stay in the shadows. They deal in an illegal but highly desirable product: people, specifically Filipina domestic workers to serve China’s growing middle class. Filipina helpers, says one agent, will follow your exact instructions, whereas locals are choosy and tend to handle only one task: if they clean, for instance, they will not look after children. Filipinas’ diligence makes them popular: the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong estimates that more than 200,000 undocumented Filipinas work as domestic helpers in China, earning 5,000 yuan ($728) per month, far more than they could make back home. As for legal troubles, the agents are reassuring: fines can be hefty but are rarely imposed. One agent admitted that a client was caught employing an illegal worker; the worker was sent home, but the client was not fined.Another Filipina no doubt took her place: the Philippines abounds with labour, and China needs domestic workers. This exemplifies two demographic trends in Asia. Poor, young South and South-East Asian countries suffer low wages and underemployment, while richer, ageing countries in the north need more people to bolster their workforces. Theoretically, this problem contains its own solution: millions of young workers should go north and east. Receiving countries would benefit from their labour, while their home countries would benefit from their remittances and eventually from the transfer of skills when the workers return, as many migrant labourers do.Practice, however, is less accommodating than theory. The Asian “model” of migration tends to be highly restrictive, dedicated to stemming immigration, rather than managing it. Entry is often severely curtailed, permanent settlement strongly discouraged and citizenship kept out of reach.Asia is home to about half of the world’s population, but is the source of only 34% of its emigrants and host to only 17% of its immigrants. About a third of Asians who have left their country have laid their hats somewhere else in Asia. But despite wide income and age gaps between one end of Asia and the other, three-quarters of intra-Asian migrants remain in their own part of the region: South Asians migrate elsewhere in South Asia, East Asians stick to East Asia, and so on.Much of this labour is irregular. Thailand, for instance, may have as many as 5m migrant workers, mainly from neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Many of them lack visas—particularly those in construction and services. Around three years ago, a rumoured crackdown on illegal labour sent around 200,000 Cambodians fleeing for the border. The resulting paralysis of the construction industry, among others, prompted Thailand to reverse course quickly and implement a brief amnesty during which workers could apply for temporary documents. Some workers do not bother with those, complaining that the process of getting them is too time-consuming and expensive. Still, millions remain willing to take the risk of working illegally or semi-legally in Thailand because wages back home are so low.China has long been able to satisfy its demand for labour by moving rural citizens to cities: every year around 150m Chinese temporarily leave the countryside to staff factories, cook in restaurants and clean homes. But with China’s population ageing, foreign workers have begun filling the gap: as many as 50,000 Vietnamese illegally cross the border into the southern province of Guangxi each spring to help harvest sugarcane. In 2015 the provincial government started a programme to bring Vietnamese workers into local factories in one city; off to a good start, it is being introduced in other parts of Guangxi.China remains a net exporter of labour, but the balance is shifting quickly. Over the next 30 years China’s working-age population will shrink by 180m. How China handles this fall will play a large role in shaping Asian migration patterns. Manufacturers can move factories to labour-rich countries, or invest in automation. Other industries lack that option: the ILO forecasts that China will need 20m more domestic workers as it ages.Impending workforce collapse is not an exclusively Chinese problem. To keep the share of its population at working age steady, East Asia would have to import 275m people between the ages of 15 and 64 by 2030. South-East Asia would have to attract 5.9m, though that number masks wide gaps: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and especially Thailand need workers, while Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines have too many. South Asia, meanwhile, could afford to lose 134m workers—India alone could send more than 80m abroad—without worsening its dependency ratio (photo: labour shortage) (by The Economist)

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Forced labour in European universities’ servers and IT equipment

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 5 ottobre 2015

amsterdamAmsterdam, Western European universities spend billions on IT equipment produced by young Chinese students who are forced to work on production lines during so-called internships. This constitutes a gross violation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention on forced labour. The report ‘Servants of servers’, published today by the GoodElectronics Network, presents the findings of an investigation conducted at a factory of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Wistron in Zhongshan, Guangdong, China. The Wistron factory in Zhongshan produces servers for HP, Dell and Lenovo – the brands most widely used by European universities and higher education institutions.After being presented with the findings of the investigation conducted by the independent Danish media and research centre Danwatch, HP and Dell acknowledged several violations. The brands have temporarily suspended the use of student interns at their production lines at the Wistron factory in Southern China.
Key findings presented in ‘Servants of servers’:Thousands of Chinese students are being forced to complete irrelevant internships: the students work 10-12 hours a day, six days a week, for up to 5 months. They have to do overtime and night shifts. If the students refuse to complete the internship, they will be denied their diploma. Experts describe the forced internship programmes at Wistron as forced labour. This is a flagrant violation of Chinese Labour Law and International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention on forced labour.
In 2015, Western European educational institutions spent 4.27 billion euros on hardware, software and IT services, of which €461.38 million were spent on servers alone. HP is the market leader in this sector, with a share of 28 percent. Dell controls 13 percent and Lenovo 11 percent. “We are all depressed” Xu Min (19) is studying accountancy and is forced to spend three to five months working at Wistron factory: “We are standing at the assembly line the whole day, doing the same task again and again. It has nothing to do with my education. None of us want to be here. We are all depressed, but we have no choice, because the school told us that if we refused, we would not get our diploma. The work is exhausting.” Pauline Overeem, GoodElectronics Network: “The problem of forced student labour in the electronics industry is widespread in China, Thailand and the Philippines.” But the case of the Wistron factory in Zhongshan doesn’t stand on its own. It is good to know that HP and Dell take these signals seriously, but it is high time that brands and manufacturers across the board take determined action to ensure decent working conditions without any form of forced labour at their suppliers.”

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Movie screening and debate on migration

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 24 giugno 2015

bruxellesThe debate will take place on Thursday 25 June, from 8.45 to 11.00, in room Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) 1A002, in Brussels. It will be webstreamed on EP Live.
The Civil Liberties Committee will hold the fifth debate on the strategic own-initiative report on migration on Thursday 25 June, from 8.45 to 11.00. Tackling criminal smuggling, trafficking and labour exploitation of irregular migrants, developing adequate legal economic migration channels, and border management and visa-policy are the topics to be addressed in this meeting.A series of debates on the portrayal of migration through cinema will also take place in the framework of the preparation of this report, followed by a sequence of screenings focussing on this topic. The second movie will be shown in room Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) 3C050 on Wednesday 24 June, from 19.00: “Every face has a name”. Tackling criminal smuggling, trafficking and labour exploitation of irregular migrants – debate with Tsvetlin Yovchev, former Minister of Home Affairs of Bulgaria and former Director of the State Agency on National Security, and Wolfgang Bauer, International Reporter for the ZEIT, weekly newspaper, Germany Developing adequate legal economic migration channels – debate with Luca Visentini, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and Prof. Iván Martín, Migration Policy Centre, European University Institute, FlorenceBorder management and visa-policy, including the role of Frontex and other relevant agencies – debate with Prof. Steve Peers, University of Essex; Swiss humanitarian visas – debate with H.E. Roberto Balzaretti, Ambassador, Head of the Mission of Switzerland to the EU The next two hours session on the strategic report on migration is scheduled for the meeting of 2 July. These discussions will feed into the report that is being prepared by Roberta Metsola (EPP, Malta) and Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, Italy). The EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s (FRA) annual report 2014 will be presented in the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday, from 11.30 to 12.30. Its key message is that migrant tragedies is one of the fundamental rights challenges that needs to be addressed. FRA asks Member States to consider offering more legal possibilities for people in need of international protection to enter the EU, as viable alternatives to risky irregular entry.

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Zero tolerance for severe forms of labour exploitation needed,FRA study says

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 giugno 2015

consumersConsumers are often unaware that the food they eat or the clothes they buy may have been produced by people working under conditions of severe labour exploitation. A new report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows that while the EU has legislation prohibiting certain forms of severe labour exploitation, workers moving within or migrating to the EU are at risk of becoming victims. Despite this, the offence of employing a migrant worker under particularly exploitative working conditions is punishable in some EU Member States with a maximum sentence of less than two years, a penalty that does not reflect the gravity of the fundamental rights violations involved.“The exploitation of workers who have been forced by their economic and social circumstances to agree to substandard working conditions is unacceptable,” said FRA interim Director Constantinos Manolopoulos. “We are talking here about an endemic problem that we must take urgent action to end. EU Member States need to make a greater effort to promote a climate of zero tolerance for severe forms of labour exploitation and take steps to monitor the situation more effectively and sanction perpetrators.”FRA’s new report is the first of its kind to comprehensively explore all criminal forms of labour exploitation in the EU affecting workers moving within or into the EU. The findings show that criminal labour exploitation is extensive in a number of industries, particularly agriculture, construction, hotel and catering, domestic work, and manufacturing, and also that perpetrators are at little risk of prosecution or of having to compensate victims. This situation does not only harm the victims themselves, but also undermines labour standards more broadly.While exploited workers are spread across different geographical locations and sectors of the economy, they often have much in common, such as very low wages – sometimes of €1 per hour or less – and working days of 12 hours or more for six or even seven days a week. One important factor contributing to the present situation of widespread impunity is a lack of reporting by victims, who are either prevented from doing so or do not wish to come forward for fear of losing their job.Among proposals FRA makes in the report to improve the situation are the following:
EU Member States must ensure a comprehensive, effective and well-resourced system of workplace inspections.To improve the effectiveness of investigations into cases of severe labour exploitation, close links should be established between the police, public prosecutors and monitoring authorities such as labour inspectorates, support services, and employers’ associations, also in cross-border contexts.Victims’ access to justice needs to be strengthened, e.g. through greater efforts to make victims aware of their rights, both before and after their arrival in the EU country in which they are working. National authorities need to establish trust and provide a sense of safety, security and protection to encourage exploited workers to report their experiences, while labour inspectorates and police should cooperate more closely to ensure they identify cases of severe labour exploitation wherever they occur.
Both private companies and national authorities are called on to ensure they avoid supporting labour exploitation by contracting or subcontracting companies involved in the exploitation of workers.Consumers must be informed of the risks that a product or service offered was created involving severe labour exploitation by such means as a system of certification and branding of products of companies that respect workers’ rights.

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“Severe labour exploitation in the EU”

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 28 Maggio 2015

bruxelles (1)Brussels Monday, 1 June 2015 16.30 Justus Lipsius building high-level conference, on 2 June 2015. Technical press briefing by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on the findings of a first EU study that comprehensively explores all criminal forms of labour exploitation of migrant workers and those who have moved from one EU country to the other. The findings reveal not only that criminal labour exploitation is prevalent in a number of industries, particularly agriculture, construction, hotel and catering, domestic work, and manufacturing, but also that exploiters are at little risk of prosecution, punishment or the necessity of having to compensate victims.The research provides evidence that:
Severe labour exploitation is widespread in the EU in a number of industries (such as agriculture, construction, hotel and catering, domestic work, manufacturing).A lack of workplace inspections and monitoring of working conditions, coupled with ineffective investigations, lead to a situation of widespread impunity: offenders are at little risk of prosecution, punishment or the necessity of having to compensate exploited workers, a situation exacerbated by underreporting.The majority of consumers are not aware that products they buy or use may be the result of labour exploitation as there is no system of binding standards or clear branding.For example, in countries such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia, the laws on exploitative working conditions only protect third-country nationals in an irregular situation. In almost all EU Member States, workers with an irregular residence status from non-EU countries are protected from severe labour exploitation by means of criminal law provisions. EU nationals enjoy this level of protection in only four Member States (Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands).

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New EU index of labour market trends

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 19 aprile 2012

Policy makers, analysts, traders and businesses frequently need to understand the complex dynamics of national labour markets. However, up to now this has meant looking at a number of statistics that only partially tell the story. Launched today, the new labour market index (LMI) from the Federation of European Employers (FedEE) finally provides a composite measure that shows how well such markets are working. FedEE’s new labour market index (LMI) measures the degree of health of an economy by analysing the relationship between labour demand and supply, adjusted by real labour costs per unit of output, conventionally used as an indicator of economic competitiveness. To view the latest LMI graph please visit In the EU27 as a whole the labour market was expanding throughout 2010. However, the trend has been downward since Q2 2011 – mainly due to the rise of real earnings relative to production. FedEE is currently closely monitoring both Germany and Spain. Germany is the largest national economy in the EU and Spain the largest of the most troubled Eurozone countries. The German index began 2010 well above the EU27 benchmark and continued to rise throughout 2010-12, with all variables performing better than EU averages. Moreover, as the log-plot reveals, it has grown at an approximately constant rate, except for the marked deceleration of Q2 2011. By contrast, Spain’s labour market index began 2010 well below the EU-average level and has continued to deteriorate over the entire period. In more detail, as the log-plot highlights, the Spanish index was characterised by the alternation of periods of quasi-zero growth and periods of substantial negative growth rate, such as in Q2 2010 and Q4 2011. This would appear to be primarily due to its poorly-performing industrial sector leading to a sustained decrease in labour demand. This trend was not being driven by a strong surge in real labour costs – as Spanish labour cost and consumer price movements have been generally in line with EU averages.
Speaking at the launch of the new index today Robin Chater, Secretary-General of the Federation of European Employers (FedEE), said “Looking at unemployment rates alone can often be highly misleading as there is often a lag between job affordability (real labour costs per unit of output) job creation and the filling of new vacancies. The index shows how these fundamentals come together into a true swing of supply and demand. We plan to increase the range of countries covered by the index – but at the outset we thought it would be helpful to focus on two national marketplaces and reveal just how much the Spanish labour market is in an ongoing state of collapse.”

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Piero Zuccheretti una delle vittime civili dell’attentato di Via Rasella

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 27 marzo 2012

In the individual living the illusion of giving rise to it is coming farther and farther apart with shorter and shorter durations. If the beds aren’t made the women can’t think hopefully, sham a household harmony, turn away the severing death: the non-comforting art summons on an unmade bed all its fingers and, blackguard, ultimately does very little with them. Where there is order, there is well-being asserted Le Corbusier, but he mistook his dearth of glance and philosophy for an obedient course of components.More truthful, Rome teachs Cy Twombly that the man dies far from finished, bitter-sweety conscious that he hasn’t reached even his lower potential. The hills are merely seven, and overburdened by silent gods, any figure stone is quite a force to be reckoned with, democracy has lamed the public living, and if it happens to one leg, one day nearby it’ll happen to the other, precisely the one sustaining the style of the individual. In this teeming and polyuterine city a foreigner has walking pleasure crises just by his eye corner brushing against hundred generations simultaneously open to a postponement of the trial, of the Apocalypse, of the faults weighing.Lame and filthy, the Italian Republic was propped on its pedestal by a repulsive burst. It was the twenty-third day of March MCMXLIV, eight minutes to four. The sound of that slaying grows louder at every Republic’s birthday: the hussy is lame and made of incompatible joints, the boy slain by the explosion was thirteen, and his name was Pietro Zuccheretti.
The communists have placed the explosive, the communists have shorn Pietro in half, the communists have scattered mush not very far from Piazza del Tritone with the main foul object of terrifying the Romans, of welding together the misshapen joints of the dawning, sapless Republic.Made out of chitterlings of a boy downed in two stumps and of bits of democratic tall stories, the Republic would stand on her odd feet thanks to two panders in feigned disagreement, facing each other in a spoiling stalemate: the masochist Christian and the brutish commy. Twombly belongs neither to one nor the other sect: a faultless boy was vanishing without notice or care in a soulless republic, and a Virginian with short future in the hair came to dip shyly the fingers in that mush.Let’s watch Achilles mourning the death of Patroclus, painted in MCMLXII: Twombly uses the crimson with severe thriftiness, without depreciating the mourning with a trite, spielbergian blood deluge. It would be senility to get him to squander the reds on his canvas, as when he would sing the most perilous, unreasonable Bacchus: the Mainomenos, the god who rends the tiger he’s sitting astride.The most miserable moment in the soldier’s dusk is when he looks up tiringly to see the foe’s smile past overhead. But commies aren’t soldiers: they are ontologically slayers. Their dogmas inhibit the folk memory to adhere to the true grain of the past, of the occurrences, of the shady separate psyches. An artist who agrees to their intentional blindness withdraws from the core of occurrences: Karl Evver goes instead with his olive face into the core of metamorphosis of Pietro Zuccheretti from unripe man to bleeding mush all over the street. The insight into that mush has been such a huge, unpopular part of his life, a recurring, daring foray of his art inside the theratological labour of the Republic.
Piero Zuccheretti (7 maggio 1931 – Roma, 23 marzo 1944) è una delle vittime civili dell’attentato di Via Rasella del 23 marzo 1944. Nel secondo dopoguerra la sua sorte è stata oggetto di aspre controversie, prima con un procedimento civile e un processo a carico dei gappisti responsabili dell’attacco partigiano (rispettivamente nel 1950 e nel 1996), quindi per le polemiche attorno ad una fotografia scattata a quelli che alcuni autori hanno indicato come suoi resti e che una sentenza ha dichiarato “un falso”. | La morte del ragazzo ha ispirato un’opera dell’artista statunitense Cy Twombly.

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The Social Policy of Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 25 Maggio 2010

The European Commission must propose legislation that would combat social inequalities, and  create conditions for a convergence of social insurance and welfare systems in all member  states. This would cover salaries and pensions, and would establish “floors” and “ceilings” for  social benefits. The EU should create a mechanism to monitor member states’ social policies and, if needed, should issue binding recommendations for member states to ensure that the EU moves closer to a common EU social system. The EU should ensure compliance with existing anti-discrimination regulations, in particular  those which deal with gender equality, and which focus on the elderly and people with special  needs, thus ensuring their active and continued role in the labour market and in society.  The EU should increase social protection for vulnerable members of society in all phases of life,  such as elderly people, the disabled or poorer members of society, homeless and unemployed, as well as carers. It should rate countries’ spending of GDP and impose enforceable targets for  member states in the fight against poverty. These measures should be given particular attention  in times of economic recession. In order to rejuvenate its population, the EU should encourage Member States to develop policies to support families, for instance providing support for stay-at-home parents, including financial support, child benefits or fiscal incentives for larger families. Special attention should be afforded to single-parent families and large families. The EU has to work on a better balance between work and family for all. It should enable parents and other citizens with nursing tasks, enabling them to fully participate in working life,  by investing in day-, late-afternoon and night-kindergartens, parental leave and retraining. The EU should formulate minimum standards on these issues.  The EU should ensure that all Member State have equal and truly borderless status despite  their peripheral geographical location. It should do this by ensuring that all travel taxes are removed/revised, by regulating travel to isolated member states to avoid over-dependence on particular transport providers and by providing assistance to reduce the burden for passengers and traders which arise from additional transport and travel costs.

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