© Maurice Fick
After one hour of discussions at Senningen Castle on Friday, the representatives of the trade unions OGBL, LCGB, and CGFP decided to walk out.
Despite a last-minute meeting on Friday afternoon, the differences between the trade unions and the government concerning the voluntary introduction of the CovidCheck system from 1 November could not be resolved.
The trade unions criticise the government's unilateral approach both in terms of form and content. For the Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (LCGB), the measure provided for in the bill only causes unnecessary existential fear. Trade union representatives lament that no dialogue has been proposed for the introduction of these measures, which are expected to be passed by the Chamber of Deputies on Monday.
Frustrated and outraged, the representatives of the Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGBL) also left the meeting without having achieved their goal. OGBL President Nora Back expressed her disillusionment afterwards by criticising the fact that Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was not even present.
Similar criticism was voiced by the General Confederation of the Civil Service (CGFP), which had argued in favour of maintaining free self-testing. The CGFP representatives take issue with several points, stating that, without clarification, they only complicate the situation and the questions within the civil service union. CGFP General Secretary Steve Heiliger wondered whether, if a worker refuses the CovidCheck, the status of civil servant is taken into account, or whether the worker would simply be dismissed.
Minister of Labour Dan Kersch also confirmed that no solution had been found with the employee representatives regarding an increase in vaccinations but said that the gap between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated should not be widened. Kersch said that the government would instead apply "moderate pressure" on the unvaccinated.
On Monday, the trade unions will discuss the next steps to be taken, while the Chamber of Deputies will meet at 9am to approve the new Covid-19 measures. There is no time to lose as the current Covid-19 law will expire at 11.59pm on Monday. The new measures will mainly affect the hotel and catering industry and will come into force on 1 November. The new Covid-19 law will be valid until 18 December.