Wednesday, 4 February 2009

'Veto the European Commission unless they protect workers' say MEPs

4 February 2009

Today MEPs from UK, Germany and Italy, representing Socialists, Greens and European Left Groups threatened to veto this year's incoming European Commission.

Glyn Ford (Labour, SW England) said: "The situation is clear, if we are to end 'social dumping' within Europe we must change the law. British and other European workers should not have to compete within factories and companies with those forced to work for lower wages and in poorer conditions".

He added: "Talking is not enough. Here MEPs say we will veto the incoming Commission unless they commit to the necessary changes".

Caroline Lucas (Green, SE England) said: "It's vital that we resist the attempts of those on the far right who are using these disputes to stir up racism and xenophobia. Instead of blaming "foreign workers", we should be challenging the rights of multinationals to undercut local pay rates and exploit workers. It's clear that the Posted Workers Directive needs to be revised, so that its original intention, to provide equal treatment for all workers, is upheld."
Stephen Hughes (Labour, NE England) added: "We believe it's important that British, Italian, Portuguese or any other EU workers should have the freedom to move, live and work in any EU country. But we do not accept that any worker should be open to exploitation as a consequence of exercising the right to free movement. Such workers should be guaranteed the same pay, terms and conditions as indigenous workers."

The MEPs have produced a Written Declaration to express their position, co-signed also by Italian Socialist MEP Luisa Morgantini and Green Germany MEP Elizabeth Schroedter.

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