EFCI and Eurofound: discussing essential workers’ employment conditions

On October 10th EFCI’s Director General, Matteo Matarazzo, took the stage during the event, organized by Eurofound an EU Agency Working on living conditions, emphasizing the significance of social dialogue as a pillar connecting industry, employees, and policymakers. Mr. Matarazzo highlighted the vital role of open communication in preventing conflicts at the political level and fostering balanced solutions. In his words, “To ensure quality employment, companies must be given quality contracts, including through public spending.” This stance underscored the holistic approach needed to improve the conditions of essential workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic served as a reminder of the indispensable role played by essential workers in maintaining the fabric of our societies. These workers, often facing challenges such as inadequate compensation, precarious contracts, and psychosocial risks, are the backbone of sectors grappling with acute labor shortages. Recognizing the pivotal role of these essential workers also called key workers and acknowledging the need to enhance their working conditions, EFCI actively participated in a significant event organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Eurofound, last October 10th in Brussels

Kicked off with insightful introductions by Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and Alicia Homs Ginel MEP, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the event delved into a global and European perspective. The ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook 2023 report, titled ‘The value of essential work,’ and Eurofound’s policy brief on ‘Job quality of COVID-19 pandemic essential workers’ provided the foundation for discussions.

Moderated by journalist Shona Murray, the event featured a panel of social partners representing ‘essential’ sectors. This diverse group engaged in a robust exchange, shedding light on the primary challenges they currently face, and strategies employed for future preparedness. The audience, comprising EU policymakers, interest groups, and social partners, gained valuable insights into the nuanced landscape of essential work.


The event not only underscored the immediate challenges faced by essential workers but also served as a platform for envisioning a future where job quality, social dialogue, and public procurement align for the betterment of workers and industries alike. As EFCI continues its commitment to advocating for the interests of the cleaning and facility services sector, events like these provide a crucial forum for shaping policies that resonate with the evolving needs of essential workers in a post-pandemic world.

Brussels – Belgium – 10 October 2023 Eurofound and ILO joint event. Panel discussion (f. Right) Moderator Shona Murray; Adam Rogalewski – Policy Officer – Health and Social Services, European Public Service Union (EPSU); Matteo Matarazzo – Director General, European Cleaning and Facility Services Industry (EFCI); Marta Branca – Secretary General, European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM). — PHOTO: Juha ROININEN / EUP-IMAGES

Brussels – Belgium – 10 October 2023 — Eurofound and ILO joint event. — PHOTO: Juha ROININEN / EUP-IMAGES