“The European Commission's proposals to change the EU Working Time Directive are a gift to European employers' and nothing short of a scandal”.
Addressing 50,000 workers gathered on the streets of Brussels, this Saturday (19 March), these were the opening words of a speech by EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel. She went on to state that the proposals to legitimise the individual opt-out, to introduce a new category of work for in-house on call workers, termed “inactive-time” and to steal the rights of workers by denying them collective bargaining, were an illustration of just how far the Commission will go to satisfy Employers. Ms. Fischbach-Pyttel stated that a productive Europe, an EU in tune with the Lisbon strategy goals, can only be based on strongly motivated, respected workers.
The demonstration is the latest step in a concerted campaign by EPSU to highlight how contemptuous of workers the Commission has become - a contempt, which includes ignoring European Court of Justice rulings, which favours balanced working time arrangements. The theme of the campaign is ‘EU working time proposals are surreal' . It is set to run until the June Social Affairs Council, where Europe's Labour Ministers are set to consider European Parliament proposals to radical amend the Commission text.