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Support of telecoms unions and operators for Lisbon summit
Support of telecoms unions and operators for Lisbon summitKeywords: Telecommunications, Development, Training, Learning organizaions
As a contribution to the Lisbon Summit on Employment, Economic Reform and Social Cohesion held earlier this year, UNI-Europa Telecom, the telecoms section of the European trade union federation UNI and a number of major telecoms employers sent a joint letter to Social Affairs Commissioner, Anna Diamantopoulou, declaring their wish to play a leading role in the modernisation process of their sector. To this end, they highlight that partnership in key areas such as training and work organisation is essential to ensure successful change in the interest both of employees and companies.
Anna Diamantopoulou, said: "The major telecoms operators and trade unions are leading the way towards 'the learning company' and modern work organisation: a key contribution to the Lisbon Summit".
In a joint statement that is annexed to their letter, employers and trade unions commit to work together so that by the end of 2001 all companies can be considered "learning companies": each employee will have the opportunity to acquire essential ICT training. This process will be supported wherever possible by the use of Internet-based training so that people can learn by doing. Critically, employers and trade unions will also work together to develop appropriate certification in order to make ICT skills portable throughout the European telecoms sector.
Furthermore, employers and trade unions have announced that they will develop before the end of 2001 a set of Europe-wide guidelines for telework. They consider that the introduction of new forms of work organisation, such as telework, is an important driver of modernisation in the sector. Substantial efforts have already been made at national level by many companies. However, a European framework is set to further facilitate and encourage the introduction of new forms of work organisation by individual companies in co-operation with their employees.
Anna Diamantopoulou said:
This contribution shows that employers and trade unions at European level can and must play a decisive role in the process of advancing towards the information society. Training and skills upgrading in the new technologies for employees, together with modernisation of work organisation are key components of the European employment strategy. Employers and trade unions are best placed to achieve concrete results in these areas. The joint statement from the telecommunications sector, given its strategic importance for the information society, is a clear signal towards modernisation.