FECL 11 (December 1992/January 1993):
EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (EEA): TRADE UNIONS SPEAK OUT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS'
The Central-Alpine trade union standing group "Arge Alp der
Gewerkschaften/Arge Alp dei Sindacati" unanimously passed a migrants' rights declaration at its
9th annual convention in Milan in October. The "Arge Alp" union group is made up
of the regional trade union federations in Bavaria (Munich),
Baden-Wuerttemberg (Stuttgart), Salzburg (Salzburg), Tirol (Innsbruck), Vorarlberg (Bregenz),
Graubuenden (Chur), Ticino (Lugano), South Tirol (Bolzano), Trentino (Trent),
and Lombardia (Milan). It is one of the best functioning sub-organizations of
the European Trade Union Federation. By uniting trade unions from Germany,
Austria, Switzerland and Italy the "Arge Alp" straddles the EFTA and EC economic
blocs and can therefore be seen as a predecessor of the European Economic Area
(EEA) which, before the rejection of the treaty by the Swiss people was thought to
take effect the beginning of 1993.
The declaration titled "Living and Working with Migrants in the Alpine
Region" goes much further than similar statements of intent published by the
European Economic and Social Committee (CES) in 1991. Both the German and Austrian
trade union federations are integrated into "Social Partnership" set-ups in their
The declaration includes the following: "The Trade Union Standing Group intends to achieve legal equality for
non-EEA employees, particularly in the areas of work, social affairs, and
collective bargaining, while at the same time guarding their general interests on the
shop floor and in society as a whole. This includes: - active and passive voting rights during shop steward and general trade
- voting rights for all non-national employees during local and city
elections (after a certain period of residency).
- creation of local and regional immigrants councils.
- support for the establishment of a network of immigrants representatives
and immigrants advisors made up of trade union members within the region."
The "Arge Alp" declaration also includes steps towards fighting illegal
employment and xenophobia.
Document available in German: Arge AusländerInnenwahlrecht,
Muehlbacherhofweg 5/7, A-5020 Salzburg, Tel: +43/662/881145, Fax: /87090019