European Trade Union Confederation

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An international trade union confederation which was founded in 1973 to provide a cohesive voice for the European trade union movement. The ETUC represents sixty-five national trade union centres from twenty-eight countries, together with fourteen industry federations. Its congress is held every four years and elects an Executive Committee and officers. The key function of the ETUC is to act as a social partner within the framework of the European Union, and among its main achievements are the negotiation of a series of framework agreements on parental leave and part-time and atypical work. These have been adopted as directives by the Council of Ministers under the ‘negotiation’ procedure of the European Union. The development of European social policy and the desire of the European Commission to promote social dialogue between the interests of business and labour have allowed the ETUC to assume a more prominent role. There is a continuing tension, however, between the ETUC and the major national confederations of labour, such as the German DGB, which are loath to concede vital decision-making powers to an international body.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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