The current European Commission and Parliament have until May 2019 to ‘change the rules’ to promote decent work for people across the EU who are getting increasingly disillusioned over precarious work, poor wages, and growing inequality. After the European elections in May 2019 at there is likely to be considerable change in the make-up of the two European institutions.
The ETUC has drawn up a handy TO DO list, to be delivered by the current and future EU institutions, to mark World Day for Decent Work whose theme this year is ‘Change the rules’.
The TO DO list reads
- Adopt a strong Work Life balance Directive: give working people a guarantee of paid paternity leave, paid carers leave and improved parental leave.
- Adopt the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions: tackle abusive flexible work contracts, and give clear rights to all ‘non-standard’ workers including platform and gig economy workers.
- Pressure Governments to agree and implement the recommendation on Access to Social Protection: guarantee pensions and other benefits (health care, unemployment benefits etc) to all working people including the self-employed.
- Set up a European Labour Authority: with power and budget to protect workers’ rights in cross-border situations
- Deliver new legislation on health and safety, starting with ambitious binding occupational exposure limits on carcinogenic substances at work
- Promote a Ministerial Declaration on Just Transition at the December Katowice Climate COP and put just transition into the EU Strategy for long-term emission reductions: Get Governments to commit to anticipate and manage the employment and social impacts of climate action to ensure that no worker is left behind in a socially fair transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Create a Partnership for Wages and Collective Bargaining, to tackle wage inequalities between and within EU member states: actively promote collective bargaining as an essential part of a “competitive social market economy”:
- Get into EU law stronger protection for whistle-blowers:Including protection for people who blow the whistle on working conditions and for people who want to do so through a trade union
- Support the integration of migrants into the workplace:
On the basis of equal pay and conditions!
“Time is running out for the EU institutions” said Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary. They need to show working people across Europe that they are serious about a fair Europe that protects. Working people expect decent work that enables them to have a decent life and to give their family a reasonable standard of living. Instead the rich are getting richer and too many working people are struggling to make ends meet. It’s no wonder people are getting disillusioned. The solution is clear and getting the tasks on ETUC’s TO Do list done would be a very good way to go into the European elections.”