New confederation for private sector white-collar workers

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Long-running disputes in the governing bodies of the FEP brought the union organisation to a standstill in March 1998 and have led to the formation of a new confederation for white-collar workers in Luxembourg's private sector.

The Federation of Private Sector White-Collar Employees (Fédération des employés privés) is a nationally representative trade union organisation covering white-collar workers in the private sector. For several years now, a spate of court cases involving the union's leadership has led to a reduction in activities and loss of membership.

A few years ago, a group of FEP members left and founded the SNEP Reform Group - National Union of Private Sector White-Collar Workers (SNEP-Rénovateurs-Syndicat national des employés privés). This organisation has met with some success, but it has not reached the threshold needed for national representative status.

Since mid-March 1998, following a combined ordinary and extraordinary FEP national congress - the meeting was held behind closed doors and its legality has been hotly disputed by certain representatives from FEP's regional structures - the situation has been marked by a complete lack of transparency. As a result, no one knows who the union's real leaders are, and contradictory statements from the various players are the order of the day.

To complicate matters further, certain members of the FEP leadership, laying claim to legitimacy by virtue of a 1994 national congress decision, have recently, together with SNEP Reform Group, formed a confederation called the SNEP-FEP. This is a first stage in a process aimed at setting up a new organisation open to all white-collar workers in the private sector.

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