|Author (Person)||Shelley, John|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.14, 5.4.01, p2|
AN ELEVENTH-HOUR intervention by European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine has averted a strike that threatened to de-rail the institution's key monthly voting session.
Assembly staff unions planned a one-day walk-out yesterday (4 April), but after Fontaine wrote to reform Commissioner Neil Kinnock to set up face-to-face meetings they backed down from their hard-line approach.
Parliament fonctionnaires, furious that they were being excluded from consultations on staff reform, had timed the strike to cause maximum disruption on the busiest day of the assembly's monthly week-long Strasbourg voting session.
But union representatives say they are now delighted with the response from Kinnock and Fontaine. Joachim Behmer, coordinator for the Parliament's staff union liaison committee, said: "We were surprised ourselves that they weren't tougher." He added: "There is certainly not now any concrete threat of strike action in the immediate future."
Last month Kinnock agreed to set up a high-level negotiating body to settle differences with staff unions over the most controversial aspects of his proposals.
Parliament staff were angry that even though they were formally allowed to take part in these meetings it was practically impossible for them to do so because many of them are not based in Brussels.
Following the strike threat, Fontaine and Kinnock have agreed to set up meetings, both between staff and reformers and between the administrative chiefs of the institutions, to allow the Parliament to take part in the discussions.
An eleventh-hour intervention by European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine has averted a strike that threatened to derail the insitution's key monthly voting session.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|