S&Ds defend EU workers’ rights in the face of challenge from conservatives in the European Parliament
Today, the Socialists and Democrats led a majority in the European Parliament to defend a report aiming at improving working conditions and establishing new rights for millions of European workers, in spite of a challenge from the EPP and the ECR. The S&Ds denounced efforts from the right wing to block progress on a legislative proposal that will pave the way to better protection for workers in precarious jobs and fulfil the commitments made under the European Social Pillar. On Tuesday night, the EPP and the ECR challenged the employment committee vote to enter into negotiations with the European Commission and the Council.
Agnes Jongerius, MEP and S&D spokesperson on employment and social affairs, said:
“We are relieved at the result of the vote. Despite their efforts, the conservatives of the EPP and ECR did not succeed in stopping all progress made to protect workers in precarious jobs. Millions of workers in the EU are currently trapped in abusive and flexible contracts that render them vulnerable to sudden changes and leave them at the mercy of their employers. This is unacceptable and must stop.
“We are fighting for social protection, decent working conditions for all workers and for clear obligations for employers. We want workers to be informed about their rights from day one and to know when you have to work and what your salary will be for it. By setting standards of protection for workers, employers will benefit too. Legal loopholes must no longer be an excuse for labour exploitation. All workers deserve decent working conditions.”
Javi López, S&D MEP and responsible for the revision of the Written Statement Directive, added:
“Today’s vote gives hope for the future of millions of workers in exploitative working conditions. Fortunately, common sense prevailed and the achievements made one month ago in the employment committee were not jeopardised. We fought hard to convince every MEP about the importance of better protecting workers across the EU.
“It is saddening that the conservatives care more about empowering employers to offer even more flexible contracts, than about platform and on-demand workers, the bogus self-employed and those in zero-hour contracts. We Socialists and Democrats have been leading the battle for minimum social standards and rights for workers. By voting in favour of the report in October, we ensured equal pay and social protection for all workers and introduced obligations for member states to tackle zero-hour contracts and significantly limit probationary periods. We will continue this fight until decent working conditions become a reality for all.”