More than 42 million jobs are at stake in the European Council’s talks over the EU recovery plan.
That’s the number of workers who have been placed on temporary unemployment during the coronavirus crisis, according to research by the European Trade Union Institute.
Ahead of Friday’s meeting, the ETUC says leaders have a responsibility to save as many of those jobs as possible by adopting the 750bn Euro recovery plan proposed by the European Commission.
It comes after a 400,000 jump in permanent unemployment in just a month, with north and west Europe recoding significant hits (Sweden + 0.7, Netherlands + 0.5) along with east and south.
On top of saving jobs, Commission figures show the extra investment will ensure real wages are persistently higher over the next decade.
In an appeal to European leaders, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“The recovery plan has the potential to finally restore the trust in Europe that citizens lost during the last crisis by making a real difference to the lives of working people when they need it most.
“But support is no good if it exists only on paper. Money needs to reach workers and companies in time to make a real difference.
“Workers will not thank their national leaders for holding-up a plan that could save their jobs with endless discussions. They have a responsibility to do the right thing by preventing another prolonged economic and social crisis that risks becoming a political crisis for the EU.
“The recovery plan is the only way to ensure Europe emerges fairer, greener and united from these difficult times.”
The number of workers in temporary unemployed in each member state are:
France: 11.3 million (47.8% of all workers)
Germany: 10.1m (26.9%)
Italy: 8.3m (46.6%)
Spain: 4 (24.1%)
Netherlands: 1.7 (23.2%)
Austria: 1.3 (31.6%)
Belgium: 1.3 (31.5%)
Romania: 1 (15.3%)
Ireland: 600,000 (30.8%)
Croatia: 500,000 (34.2%)
Sweden: 500,000 (11.1%)
Poland: 400,000 (3.1%)
Slovenia: 300,000 (35.6%)
Czechia: 200,000 (4.6%)
Denmark: 200,000 (7.8%)
Luxembourg: 200,000 (44.4%)
Portugal: 200,000 (5%)
Bulgaria: 100,000 (3.6%)
Finland: 100,000 (4.6%)
Slovakia: 100,000 (4.6%)
Source: ETUI Policy Brief no7 2020 ‘Ensuring fair short-time work - a European overview’ https://www.etui.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/Covid-19%2BShort-time%2Bwork%2BMüller%2BSchulten%2BPolicy%2BBrief%2B2020.07%281%29.pdf