|Author (Person)||Cronin, David|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.26, 28.6.01, p4|
A BITTER row has erupted between staff and management in the European Commission's Vienna offices over the dismissal of a trade union activist.
The woman, sacked just over a month ago, is now preparing a legal case. She had been working as a 'local agent' in the Austrian representation, under which she was paid a salary more closely linked to national wage scales than those of fully-fledged EU officials.
A spokesman for her union, Gewerkschaft der Privatangestellten, contended that her removal was preceded by "severe harassment" of activists by the representation's management.But her office head, Wolfgang Streitenberger, said the woman had been dismissed over "severe allegations" unrelated to her union involvement, which he refused to discuss. It was coincidental, he added, that the Commission had refused to recognise her as a "speaker" for the union. The woman was one of 11 local agents on the payroll for the Austrian representation; it also has seven fonctionnaires.
According to Streitenberger, only five of the local agents have supported their two speakers. A separate court case is also pending over the Vienna representation because of the practice of hiring 'submarine' employees who undertook work for it, sometimes without a formal contract. Union bosses claim that Austrian labour laws were broken because social security contributions were not paid.
In 1998, Erkii Liikanen, who was personnel commissioner at the time, committed the EU's executive to eliminating the use of submarines."But at least one submarine case existed in the Vienna representation in the year 2000," said an insider.
A bitter row has erupted between staff and management in the European Commission's Vienna office over the dismissal of a trade union activist.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|