ETUC welcomes minimum wage vote but warns of growing pay crisis


The ETUC welcomed the vote in the European Parliament on 14 September in favour of the Directive on adequate minimum wages with 505 MEPs in favour, 92 against and 44 abstentions. The directive includes important new provisions on the setting of statutory minimum wages, the role of trade unions, new requirements on governments to promote collective bargaining and the obligation to draw up action plans to support collective bargaining where coverage is below 80% of employees. The vote in the European Parliament came shortly after the ETUC published new research showing that Europe’s lowest paid workers are suffering the sharpest decline in purchasing power this century, with statutory minimum wages down by as much as 19% in real terms. In highlighting the impact of inflation, the ETUC has also criticised the European Central Bank for increasing interest rates. It argues that this is a misguided measure that will expose workers and their families to higher costs. The ETUC points out that the rate rise will do nothing to counter the current rise in inflation which is driven by supply-side issues, such as the rise in energy and food prices, following the Russian war in Ukraine and speculation, undue increases in profit margins, and supply-side bottlenecks due to the pandemic.

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