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November 2013 - February 2014

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28/11/2013 - British Cleaning Council (BCC) conference in London

Based on the theme “Future proofing the cleaning industry”, this yearly conference was divided into three parts. The first part was dedicated to presentations on future-related topics concerning environmental challenges, start-up technologies, staff retention, etc. At this occasion, Douglas Cook (the BCC chairman and co-founder of Principle Cleaning Services) has notably presented his concept of 'hybrid cleaning' which is a cleaning management system linking full-time hours for cleaners, daytime cleaning, staff development and the living wage at the same cost as former models. The second part was organised through two workshops, which were deemed to enable delegates to learn new skills to take back to their businesses. Finally, the last part consisted in a debate between industry leaders and public figures on topics ranging from immigration, management skills and working conditions.

27/11/2013 - Symposium on new forms of social dialogue in Europe

Organised by the bank BNP Paribas with the support of DG EMPL, this symposium was entitled “Who do we want at the table? - New forms of social dialogue in Europe”. Given that improving the quality of social dialogue can act as an essential tool for innovation, the meeting aimed to reflect on innovative forms of social dialogue between employers’ and employees’ representatives as well as policy makers. In this context, the New European Industrial Relations (NEIRE) network is exploring the achievements through an ongoing study on European employers’ experiences and expectations in eleven EU countries, with a view to structures, roles, attitudes and competencies of employees’ representatives. During the meeting, the experts presented their first findings of the study that will be published in the first half of 2014. Afterwards, future expectations of employers’ and employees’ representatives were discussed. In this regard, the Belgian Minister of Labour Monica De Coninck reported her recent experience in the difficult negotiations between social partners on the reform of “single statute” regarding white and blue collars’ employees. She expressed her satisfaction to have reached an overall compromise after months of tough discussions between Belgian social partners, concluded during a last round of 27 hours’ negotiations.

26/11/2013 - Informal discussion panel organised by the Austrian cleaning magazine “Rationell Reinigen” in Vienna

The Director was invited to discuss the main current issues in the Austrian cleaning industry, in a panel discussion with the editor of the cleaning magazine “Rationell Reinigen”. The panel was attended by about 50 industry’s representatives, including cleaning entrepreneurs, manufacturers of cleaning machineries and products as well as representatives of cleaning chambers.

The aim was to share information between concerned actors on new trends and future challenges in the sector. In this regard, the Director outlined his views on different topics, followed by a discussion with the audience. On the next day, he was interviewed by the editor to summarize the discussions. The interview will be published in the January 2014 edition of the magazine “Rationell Reinigen”.


25/11/2013 - EuroCommerce Gala-Dinner at the occasion of its 20th anniversary

EuroCommerce represents at EU level around six millions retail, wholesale, and other trading companies. Its members include national associations in 31 countries, the 27 European leading retail and wholesale companies and associations representing specific sectors of commerce. During the event, EuroCommerce President Lucy Neville-Rolfe and EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy resumed the positive outcomes reached in the sector in last 20 years.

They both insisted on the important role played by the industry in the EU economy, acting as the link between producers and the 500 million European consumers. On the same day, EuroCommerce launched its Manifesto entitled “Shopping for Growth - How retail and wholesale can boost growth and create jobs in Europe?”. This manifesto presents the associations’ key messages ahead of the European Parliament elections and the installment of the new European Commission

19/11/2013 - Social partners lunch debate entitled “Pay in Europe in the 21st century: towards an EU coordination?” organised by Eurofound

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) organised this event to discuss with social partners the main wage developments in the frame of European policies related to the various wage setting mechanisms existing in the EU.

Wage development and its setting mechanisms are at the heart of EU policy analysis and recommendations. Changes in economic governance, especially within the implementation of the European semester (annual cycle of EU-level coordination launched in January 2011) have deepened discussions to establish clearer wage policy coordination mechanisms.

The debate was dedicated to the subsequent questions: wage-setting mechanisms and economic growth, minimum wages, employment and economic growth and wage indexation. Furthermore, discussions focused in particular on some major trends in policies and approaches at national or sectoral level in wage bargaining regimes and pay outcomes.

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