The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is disappointed and frustrated that self-employed and freelance workers will have to wait years for fair pay and decent working conditions.
Self-employed and freelance workers are not allowed to collectively bargain in many EU countries because of incorrect interpretations of EU competition law.
Today the European Commission announced plans intended to fix the problem in the discussions on the Digital Services Act - which could go on for years.
Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ETUC said:
"The solution is easily available. The EU should confirm the correct interpretation of EU Competition Law to fully exclude collective agreements from the remit of Article 101 TFEU and national competition rules. It does not need years of debate, and does not need to be linked to fixing a whole range issues on digital services.
"Trade unions are not illegal cartels and wage-setting is not price-fixing. It is welcome that the EU Commission recognise that there is a problem that needs to be solved but on the other they have launched a complicated and crowded process that will generate a lot of confusion and delay the much needed solutions."
The ETUC is also concerned that the Commission ignores the EU Treaty rules on consultation with Social Partners on matters relating to such fundamental rights as collective agreements.