From the TUC

TUC tells EU Governments: jobs and justice, not austerity

29 Feb 2012, By

Union delegation at German Embassy in London for ETUC day of action

Billy Hayes, TUC General Council spokesperson on Europe, today hand delivered a letter calling for jobs and justice, not the new European austerity treaty, to three London Embassies. The main countries pushing for the treaty, which would force Governments to slash services to meet new public sector deficit rules, and would prevent countries implementing the policies needed to avoid or escape recession, are France and Germany.

So Billy took French trade unionist Didier Hotte from FO (in the hat) to the Knightsbridge Embassy of France, and ETUC confederal secretary Claudia Menne, previously at the German TUC, to the German Embassy off Belgrave Square. Then, in solidarity with the people of Greece who are suffering most from EU-wide austerity policies, we called on their Embassy in Holland Park.

The message Billy delivered, which was emailed to all Embassies and High Commissions for the 25 countries still negotiating the treaty by thousands of trade unionists through our e-action, was echoed around Europe by trade unionists taking part in the ETUC Day of Action. And TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber took the message to Brussels when he met with Commission President Barroso and European Council President van Rompuy on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning respectively.

And we made no jokes about Billy – General Secretary of the CWU and a former postman himself – threatening to do his members out of a job. After all, he only managed to deliver three letters all day!