Informal European summit: free movement rules must be clear
In advance of the informal European Union (EU) meeting to take place in Brussels on 1 March, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) calls upon European leaders to adopt clear rules on migrant and posted workers to avoid increasing the protectionism.
ETUC supports free movement but the rules must be clear. Said John Monks, ETUC General Secretary: “Fundamental rights of workers must be addressed by European leaders in the whole context of the crisis. Action in this area would help the single labour market which is at high risk in this recession. We have seen recently disputes about the traffic rules concerning migrant work and, added to recent decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), these are an unstable and dangerous development. Workers believe that employers can ship workers into many EU countries at rates less than those specified in collective agreements. Despite the ECJ decisions being designed to promote free movement, they are, in fact, a huge threat to it because nothing threatens the single labour market more than employers having a license to use this kind of migrant worker – the posted worker – to undercut agreed rates and break the rule of equality between host and migrant worker. Therefore, an offensive for the social dimension is necessary, for the sake of workers and for the European cooperation as a whole. The ETUC demands a Social Progress Protocol in the next EU treaties to balance the single market and respect the fundamental right to collective bargaining and we also want to see a strengthening of the Posted Workers Directive”.
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