European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

EFFAT Media Monitoring (July 2013, no. 2)

12/07/2013

All sectors
 
Important cuts in IMF growth forecasts
Confirming the warnings expressed by the global labour movement and many other critics of the austerity policies promoted by the IMF and other institutions, the Fund yesterday sharply reduced growth forecasts for several countries and regions. The IMF slashed the euro-area growth rate a further 0.2 percentage points, for a 2013 annual rate of -0.6 per cent in 2013, thus confirming that the zone will be in recession for the second year in a row. Read more (EN/ES).
 
Multitasking and work interruptions are detrimental to health and performance
(9 July 2013)
Multitasking and work interruptions are a  burden on workers and do not improve the quality of their work, according to a study by the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), "The effects of work interruptions and multitasking performance and health." The study shows how disturbing work interruptions and multitasking are, regardless of the age of the person concerned. Read more (DE/EN).
 
Spying scandal will not threaten trade deal, says top US envoy
(8 July 2013)
As EU, US negotiators met on 8 July for the first round of talks on an ambitious transatlantic trade agreement, outgoing US Ambassador to the EU William E. Kennard promised a ‘healthy debate’ between the two partners in the light of recent spying allegations. Read more (EN/FR).
 
EU leaders pledge €2bn extra for youth scheme
(4 July 2013)
Seventeen EU leaders meeting in Berlin on Wednesday (3 July) pledged an extra €2bn billion for a youth employment scheme that so far was pegged at €6bn.The €8 billion will start flowing on 1 January, but the European Investment Bank also pledged to start giving loans to small and medium-sized enterprises from August on in order to help them hire more young people. Read more (EN).
 
Work sharing can save jobs in times of crisis
(18 June 2013)
Work sharing during the Great Recession, New developments and beyond – edited by ILO researchers Jon C. Messenger and Naj Ghosheh – shows that there has been a dramatic re-emergence of work sharing as an effective labour market policy tool to preserve existing jobs in times of economic downturn. Read more (EN/ES/FR).
 
 
Agriculture
 
Tensions on grain prices have fallen
(12 July 2013)
The price index for cereals, established by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), published 4 July, stood at 236.5 in June. It peaked at 260 in July 2012. Prospects of more abundant harvests and granaries across the world have contributed to the relative relaxation. The FAO has added a new level of optimism, unveiling on 11 July that the harvest forecasts have been revised upwards. It estimates that global cereal production could reach, in 2013, a record 2,479 million tonnes, an increase of 7.2% over 2012. Read more (FR).
 
Droughts could hit food production in England in 2020s, report warns
(10 July 2013)
Droughts could devastate food production in the England by the 2020s, according to a report from the government's official climate change advisers. Without action, increasingly hot and dry summers may mean farmers will face shortfalls of 50% of the water they currently use to grow crops. Read more (EN).
 
 
Food
 
Public Health Committee MEPs toughen up plans to deter young people from smoking
(10 July 2013)
A draft law to make smoking less attractive to the young by banning the use of "characterised" flavours such as strawberry or menthol in tobacco products was backed by Public Health Committee MEPs on Wednesday. But they also amended the draft to require health warnings on every side of a cigarette pack and ban slim cigarettes and "attractive" packaging. Read more (all EU languages).
 
UK: Tate & Lyle sugar supplier accused over child labour
(10 July 2013)
Tate & Lyle – which is the EU's largest cane sugar producer and whose ingredients are used in a wide range of foods around the world – , has used the Thai KSL Group since 2011 for its supplies from Cambodia. However, KSL is alleged to have been complicit, along with the Cambodian government, in the eviction of people from their land, arson and theft. Children as young as nine work on Cambodian plantations run by KSL. Read more (EN).
 

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.