EU remote interpreters on strike

Interpreters working remotely for the EU made the decision to strike, in protest at what they describe as poor working conditions.

Restrictions over the last two years of the pandemic led to a huge increase in remote interpreting. With that change came protections for interpreters, including time limits on assignments, to protect against hearing damage.

Now these restrictions have been lifted, whereas remote working remains. Interpreters’ complaints about this include poor broadband connections, noisy environments and substandard equipment impeding their ability to do a good job, as well as hearing damage reported by approximately 100 staff interpreters.

One interpreter described the situation colourfully: “It’s like driving at night under the rain versus travelling by day under good weather. You get to your destination at the same hour, but in the first case, there’s a growing risk of accident and increased fatigue once you get there.”

In response to the strike, the EU brought in temporary workers, which, according to the striking delegation of interpreters, were not accredited and risked compromising quality.

Read more about the strike here