The umbrella organization for the trade union movement in Europe is the ETUC, or the European Trade Union Confederation. The ETUC comprises several member organizations, of which one of the most important for TEK members is EUROCADRES, or the Council of European Managerial and Professional Staff. It represents people working in professional and managerial roles, such as the members of TEK.
Sitting at several international tables as TEK’s representative is work life specialist, Senior Advisor Daniel Valtakari.
“In addition to us being involved in lobbying at the EU level, networking with European colleagues is also extremely beneficial, because we can benchmark each other and join forces to make sure that the directives that benefit our members will progress on their journey.”
Valtakari gives an example.
“In the final stages of lobbying for the Whistleblower Directive, it became apparent that not all international organizations were ready to give adequate support for it. When I became aware of this in the middle of another international meeting, I asked everyone to drop other matters and together we embarked on a quick lobbying round, as a result of which preparation of the directive was successfully carried out.”
According to Valtakari, international cooperation also helps you realize that the situation in other places is not as good as it is in Finland.
“In many countries, particularly outside Europe, advocating on behalf of trade unions can take you to jail or you could end up getting assaulted or even killed.”
On the other hand, there are also examples in Europe where employee representatives are better included in decision-making in companies and where the right of priority for interpretation in disputes lies with the employees, unlike in Finland.
European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
The ETUC represents workers and their interests at the European level. The ETUC has about 45 million members across Europe. TEK members are also included in this figure.