The annual PERC summer school ’Fair Wages: closing tax, social and pay gaps’

The annual PERC summer school ’Fair Wages: closing tax, social and pay gaps’ took place in Rönneberga, Sweden, on 18-20 September 2017. Some 70 participants debated trade union policies and actions to achieve decent wages in their countries, supporting the ITUC ’End of corporate greed’ and ETUC ’Europe needs a pay rise’ campaigns, by identifying existing pay gaps and sharing experiences about trade union actions to close them.

Ronald Janssen from Trade Union Advisory Committee analysed the wage dynamics in OECD countries, underlining the decrease of wage share in GDP, growing income inequalities, and wage lag behind the productivity growth. Bela Galgozsi from the ETUI particularly focused on the East-West differences, as the convergence trend between old and new member states of the European Union after accession was replaced by even more divergence after outbreak of the economic and financial crisis. Rafael Peels, from ILO ACTRAV, introduced the ILO standards and recommendations that can be used to advance decent wages in the region.

ITUC Deputy President and President of LO-Sweden Karl Peter Thorwaldsson addressed the meeting and spoke about successes of Swedish economic developments as a result of social dialog and collective bargaining that deliver for all.

In a special session the Global Deal initiative, that was launched by the Swedish government, was debated in a view of changing the dominant liberal economic model discourse towards the one that is built on dialogue, decent work and inclusive growth.

The School participants also debated the workers’ rights situation in Europe that deteriorated due to austerity policies and expressed firm support to all the oppressed workers and leaders, and in particular deploring attacks against the Irakli Petriashvili President of the PERC and Georgian Trade Union Confederation, by the political forces in Georgia that seek to silence workers’ rights defenders and to get control over union movement, and saluting his re-election despite of that.

The meeting was organised with support of the ACTRAV, Swedish affiliates and Union 2 Union.

Galgoczi CEE wages PERC 2017
Global Deal LO