The pandemic has underlined the precarious work of many self-employed and free-lancers. Rather than act to make sure self-employed have secure wages and fair working conditions, the Commission has now delayed proposals. It will start a process of consultation. The Commission does not condemn those Member States that interpret EU competition law to mean that those workers are prevented from collective bargaining. Nonetheless collective agreements are outside the scope of competition law, and the Commission should have made this clear.
The Commission attitude further confirms that it continues to undermine the European social dialogue and the process of consultation of the social partners on labour market issues covered by the Treaty. We recall that the Commission intervened in the outcome of social dialogue negotiations on information and consultation rights for central government administration workers for example.
EPSU General Secretary: “The Commission handed a huge present to the employers by not confirming collective agreements are outside of competition law and by undermining the social partner consultation enshrined in the Treaty. It does not seem to learn the lesson that workers want an EU that works for them. We do not need an EU for the rich, wealthy and corporations.”
The teleworking that the pandemic induced could lead to a surge of workers being pushed into self-employment. Trade unions rights for this group of workers is more important than ever.
EPSU on the Commission action to block a social partner agreement on Information and Consultation Rights for Central Government Administration workers
ETUI publication on how the Commission gradually undermines the Treaty and Social Dialogue
European Commission consultation