SIPTU members and activists joined with trade unionists from across Europe in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Thursday (16th November) for an EU summit to discuss the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) demand for the enhancement of the social rights of working people across its member states. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The SIPTU delegation was also representing the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and included health workers from across the country. At the Social Summit, our members stressed their concerns about the housing crisis, the potential negative impact of Brexit on Ireland and the need to go further to strengthen collective bargaining laws in Ireland as our main priorities.   “If the EU doesn’t reconnect with the concerns of working people and continues to fail to tackle disillusionment and resentment towards it, the whole European project itself is at risk of disintegrating." He added: “The time has come for the EU politicians to make a choice. Either it can allow the ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ be used as some short-term spin, or treat it as something of real substance that prioritises the promotion of social progress, collective bargaining, a just transition and a decent life for all European workers and citizens.” ETUC Confederal Secretary, Esther Lynch, said: “Time is running out and EU leaders absolutely must adopt the Social Pillar at the end of this week. If they do not, there will not be time before the European elections in May 2019 for the current Parliament and Commission to do anything substantial about implementing it." She added: “European trade unions are determined to ensure that the EU delivers real benefits to working people. To do so we need action not just from Commissioners and MEPs but also Ministers and member states.”