EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

UNI Europa

With 320 affiliated trade union organisations and representing seven million employees, UNI Europa is a European trade union federation organising workers in 50 countries. UNI Europa represents workers in commerce, postal services and logistics, information technology and communication, financial services, temporary agencies, social insurance, property services (including cleaning and security), the graphical sector, media, entertainment and the arts, tourism, hair and beauty, gaming, and sport.

The union is part of UNI global union, which has its headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. UNI Europa is based in Brussels. It is organised on the basis of sectors and regions, with each sector and region being directly represented on the Uni Europa Executive Committee. A regional conference takes place every four years. UNI Europa is a member of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

UNI Europa actively engages in social dialogue at sectoral level with its sectoral counterparts on the employer side. Sectoral social dialogue committees have been set up in 10 UNI Europa sectors. UNI Europa states that it aims to strengthen the social dialogue in sectors where it already exists and to establish sectoral social dialogue where it does not.

As part of its role in social dialogue at company level, UNI global union engages with multinational companies and had signed 46 transnational company agreements with multinationals by April 2012. In addition, there are more than 800 European Works Councils (EWCs) in operation, of which around 200 are wholly or jointly coordinated by UNI Europa. UNI Europa also supports and guides workers in European Companies (Societas Europaea (SE)).

UNI Europa produces a Legislative Report that keeps affiliates up-to-date with EU initiatives. It is also active in developing and carrying out European projects, many of which are co-funded by the European Union.

UNI Europa has laid out its priorities as:

  • promoting democracy;
  • promoting good jobs and social dialogue;
  • giving union protection to more workers in more companies in more countries;
  • winning global agreements with European companies for workers’ rights everywhere;
  • ensuring good quality jobs that are supported by an EU social contract and strong public services, within a fair internal market, with common rules and financial transparency, and with social laws, employment protection and equal treatment.

The achievement of equal pay is a key demand for UNI Europa. The union has developed an equal pay website covering 10 countries.

See also: European collective agreements; European Framework Agreements; European sectoral employer federations; European Sectoral Social Dialogue; International Framework Agreement, Trade unions; Transnational company agreements; IndustriAll Europe.

Please note: the European industrial relations dictionary is updated annually. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them.
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