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EU: Employers allegedly abuse EU data privacy rules to hinder trade unions, study finds

"Employers accused of abusing EU data privacy rules to hinder trade unions", 19 March 2020

A survey published today (19 March) by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) highlights the plight of workforce collectives to mobilise by reaching out to employees digitally and attempt to campaign for better working conditions and fair remuneration.

The research comes at a time when millions of Europeans face an indeterminate period of remote working amid the current coronavirus outbreak...

“GDPR laws were put in place to protect people from the power of corporations but now corporations are misusing them to protect themselves from people power,” ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch said.

“Access to the workplace is a basic trade union right and in 2020 that means digital access too...”

Lynch called upon the European Commission to promote trade union rights...

The trends highlighted in ETUC’s report bring to light the recent challenges for trade unions to mobilise their networks as a result of workplaces refusing access to employee data under the pretext that it is forbidden by the GDPR...

While there is cause for concern, the ETUC survey also highlighted positive cases such as in Germany, where the amended 2018 Federal Data Protection Act transposed Article 88 of the GDPR to good effect...

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