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.
ETUC welcomes minimum wage vote but warns of growing pay crisis
More like this
The European Parliament has voted to begin the three-way negotiations with the European Council and Commission on the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive on the basis of the report supported by the Parliament’s Employment Committee on 11 November. The ETUC has called on the European Council to agree its general approach (vote likely on 6 December) so that the negotiations can begin as soon as possible. It argues that urgent action is needed to support the 9.5 million people across Europe struggling to pay their energy and other bills. The ETUC has also reiterated its demand that the directive
The ETUC has welcomed the vote by the European Parliament to support changes to the posted workers' directive. The changes were negotiated between the Parliament, European Commission and Council and now the Directive can be used to guarantee that posted workers get the same pay rates as locally employed workers. The ETUC concedes that there was a significant compromise in the exclusion of road transport workers but identified this and the need to ensure application through the sub-contracting chain as issues to be taken up in future.
As the debate continues during the first phase consultation over the European Commission's proposals on fair minimum wages, the ETUC is highlighting the need for a major boost to legal minimum wages across Europe. It argues that in most of the 22 EU member states with a statutory national minimum wage it fails to meet even the minimal at risk-of-poverty wage threshold of 60% of the median wage. In 10 member states, the statutory minimum is 50% or less of the national median wage.