European Parliament – Brussels

Spinelli 1G2 & Hybrid event

8-9 March 2023

Difficult times for trade unions and workers: rising energy prices, rising inflation and exploding cost of living.



People do not know how to pay their daily bills, but the workers are fighting back- for better wages and a life in dignity for all!
In The Left’s Trade Union conference in cooperation with TUNE (Trade Union’s Network) Thorsten Schulten (WSI Collective) will analyse the economic background for the rising costs of living, and Isabelle Schömann, Confederal Secretary of the ETUC, will present the demands of the Trade Unions.

Trade unionists from across Europe will report about workers’ actions and general strikes in France, Romania, UK and Belgium.
We will finish our conference with 10 strong demands of workers and trade unions to national and European politicians.

Interpretation provided in DE, EN, FR, DA, EL, ES, PT





15.00-15.15    Welcome:  Martin Schirdewan, MEP, Co-president of the Left & Heinz Bierbaum, TUNE

15.15-15.25    Guest speaker – 8 March: International Women’s DayLivia Spera,

                        General Secretary of ETF (European Transport Workers´ Federation)

15.25-16.30    Crises: cost of living, rising energy prices, inflation

Thorsten Schulten, Prof. Dr. Head of WSI Collective Agreement Archive at Hans Böckler Foundation an Honorary Professor at University of Tübingen. (Click here to download the presentation)

Data-analyst at WSI

Economic background and the development of the cost of living

  • Isabelle Schömann, Confederal Secretary of the ETUC.

Outlining actions and proposals to confront the crisis


Moderator: Aline Hoffmann, ETUI

16.30-16.45    Attacks on Trade Union Rights in UK, Simon Dubbins, UNITE,

Director for international & research


17.00-18.30    What is in the EU pipeline?

  • Directive on Platform Work: Leila Chaibi, MEP
  • Directive on Pay Transparency: Maria Eugenia Rodriguez Palop, MEP (video)
  • Directive on Asbestos: Nikolaj Villumsen, MEP
  • Migration Package: Long-Term-Residence-Directive + Single-Permit Directive: Kostas Arvanitis, MEP (video)
  • Initiative-report on a Framework for Quality Traineeship: Jose Gusmao, MEP

Moderator: Martin Krämer (TUNE)


Thursday 9 March, 9.00-12.30

 9.00-11.00       Ongoing workers’ actions and general strikes

  • Spain: Yolanda Gil Alonso, nurse of a public hospital, trade unionist in CCOO, workers struggle in the health care sector
  • Germany: Anke Jahnke, head of Works Council of a hospital, trade unionist in Verdi, strike on Public services
  • Karel Meganck, president of the European Works Council of AGEAS, General strikes on cost of living and salaries
  • France, CGT (video), general strike on pensions

Moderator: Yota Lazaropoulou (TUNE)


11.15-12.15   Workers’ struggles: a future to win and common requests

11.15-11.25    Guest speaker: Walter Baier, President of the Party of the European-Left

11.25-12.15     “10 demands for the future of workers” – to the national and European politicians 

  •  Özlem Demirel, MEP
  • Nikolaj Villumsen, MEP
  • Enrique Carmona, TUNE

Moderator: Peter Damo, TUNE

12.15-12.30     Closing remarks: Heinz Bierbaum, TUNE & Manon Aubry, MEP, Co-president of The Left