Sectoral social dialogue developments round-up

A range of developments took place during November 2002 within the context of the European-level sectoral social dialogue, including a review of progress in the telecommunications sector, a joint statement on lifelong learning in the banking sector and preparatory work on establishing dialogue in the sport sector.

On 4 November 2002, the European social dialogue working group for the telecommunications sector met to review progress. The group discussed a new work programme for 2003, which includes issues such as the age profile of the telecommunications sector workforce and a range of topics relating to call centre workers, including health and safety, skills and training, staff turnover and working conditions. A seminar on EU enlargement which has had to be postponed was reconvened for June 2003. Further, cooperation on regulatory and competition issues between the sectoral social partners - the telecommunications section of UNI-Europa (the European regional organisation of the global trade union organisation, Union Network International, UNI) and the European Public Telecommunication Network Operators Association (ETNO) for employers - was discussed. ETNO agreed to give a written response to UNI’s policy position by mid-December 2002.

In the banking sector, the European-level social partners – for the union side, UNI-Europa’s banking section and for the employers’ side, the European Banking Federation (FBE), theEuropean Association of Cooperative Banks (EACB) and the European Savings Banks Group (ESBG) - endorsed a joint statement on lifelong learning on 4 November 2002. A conference on this issue will be held at the end of February 2003. The partners also agreed to set up a working group to look into the issue of 'socially responsible' banking. The working group will look at exchange of experience and good practice, corporate social responsibility issues and European social benchmarks in the banking sector.

Finally, a conference was held in Brussels on 5-6 November 2002 by the EU-level social partners in the sport sector, including UNI-Europa. The conference, which was attended by around 40 delegates, undertook preparatory work for the setting up of a European social dialogue committee in this sector. The social partners adopted a declaration in which they commit themselves to continuing work at national and European level, with the aim of establishing European social dialogue in sport.

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