EPSU calls on Employment Council not to destroy working time directive

(Brussels 8 December) EPSU has joined with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in demanding that the EU Employment Ministers, meeting on 8-9 December, respect working hour limits. EPSU condemns the aggressive actions of the UK Presidency who have pushed their own national agenda. Specifically UK Minister Alan Johnson is calling for the individual opt-out to remain for those countries that want it, and for on-call work in the workplace not to be defined as working time. This political stance ignores the opinions of the European Parliament and European Court of Justice. The latter institutions have proven the need for a substantial working time directive, based on EU health and safety law. The UK Presidency is leading a charge against strong health and safety protection for Europe's workers. Such proposals, if adopted by the Council and supported by the Commission, would lead to the first-ever social policy directive that would introduce a regression compared to the previous situation, and would in fact herald the burial of Social Europe.

- [ETUC position->http://www.etuc.org/a/1839]