Cross-party coalition of MEPs call to only give public contract to companies that bargain with their workers

15.06.21

News

Cross-party coalition of MEPs call to only give public contract to companies that bargain with their workers
 

Members of the European Parliament are calling for public procurement rules to be changed to ensure people have a say at work. On International Justice Day for Cleaners and Security Guards, twenty-three MEPs from four different politicial groups in the European Parliament are backing calls by workers’ unions from across Europe for public contracts to be only made accessible to companies that have collective agreements with their workers. You can show your support too here.

Public procurement accounts for €2 trillion per year or over 13% of the EU’s GDP. This money, spent by governments and public institutions for services delivered by private contractors, can play a determining role in setting standards across whole sectors of work.

MEP Agnes Jongerius said: “Democracy at work is the canary in the coalmine for democratic societies. When it is under threat, it is a major warning sign. That is why it is vital to draw the line now. Using public money only with companies who apply a collective agreements is a clear-cut first step.”

MEP Leila Chaïbi said: “When public money is being used to fuel a race to the bottom on essential workers’ conditions, something is clearly wrong and needs to be fixed. Government leaders have clapped for workers, now it is time they gave them the tools to obtain decent conditions.”

Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa said: “The essence of democracy is not just the freedom to speak—it is the freedom to have a say. That’s why we are calling for public contracts to be awarded only to companies in which workers have a say. This is how we build resilience against rising levels of inequality and ensure accountability of corporations operating in the EU.”

The statement of support reads:

Since the Covid-19 crisis started last year, care workers, cleaners, call centre workers, logistics and postal workers, security guards and all essential workers have been risking their lives to keep our society going. At the same time, they are among the lowest paid and most precarious workers in the EU. Many of them work in publicly procured projects.

Yet too many essential workers are left without a voice. In this way, these companies not only become less accountable to their own workers but also the general public. Meanwhile other companies are forced to also drive down workers’ pay and conditions in order to compete.

Public funding must not be complicit in fuelling this race to the bottom. Public contracts should not go to companies that seek a competitive advantage by suppressing workers’ say and driving poverty wages and sub-standard working conditions. Decent pay and working conditions are in the public interest.

As a Member of the European Parliament, I pledge to work towards ensuring that companies can only be awarded public contracts if they have implemented collective agreements. I support the campaign to change EU public procurement rules to ensure:

  • no public contracts for companies without collective agreements;
  • a clear political undertaking by the European Commission for this simple change now, followed by a swift legislative initiative.

List of signatories (you can find an updated list here):

Agnes Jongerius, Netherlands, Socialists & Democrats

Marianne Vind, Denmark, Socialists & Democrats

Leïla Chaibi, France, The Left – GUE/NGL

Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Denmark, Greens/EFA

Cindy Franssen, Belgium, EPP

Katrin Langensiepen, Germany, Greens/EFA

Ibán García del Blanco, Spain, Socialists & Democrats

Nikolaj Villumsen, Denmark, The Left – GUE/NGL

Estrella Durá Ferrandis, Spain, Socialists & Democrats

Ernest Urtasun, Spain, Greens/EFA

Andreas Schieder, Austria, Socialists & Democrats

Sira Rego, Spain, The Left – GUE/NGL

Manuel Pineda, Spain, The Left – GUE/NGL

Eero Heinäluoma, Finland, Socialists & Democrats

Kim van Sparrentak, Netherlands, Greens/EFA

Gabriele Bischoff, Germany, Socialists & Democrats

Tiemo Wölken, Germany, Socialists & Democrats

Marc Tarabella, Belgium, Socialists & Democrats

Clare Daly, Ireland, The Left – GUE/NGL

Sara Matthieu, Belgium, Greens/EFA

Mounir Satouri, France, Greens/EFA

Anna Cavazzini, Germany, Greens/EFA

Marc Botenga, Belgium, The Left – GUE/NGL

Saskia Bricmont, Belgium, Greens/EFA

Kathleen Van Brempt, Belgium, Socialists & Democrats

Özlem Alev Demirel, Germany, The Left – GUE/NGL

Malin Björk, Sweden, The Left – GUE/NGL

Manon Aubry, France, The Left – GUE/NGL

Anne Sophie Pelletier, France, The Left – GUE/NGL

Romeo Franz, Germany, Greens/EFA

Alexandra Geese, Germany, Greens/EFA

María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Spain, The Left – GUE/NGL

Rasmus Andresen, Germany, Greens/EFA

Niklas Nienaß, Germany, Greens/EFA

Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, Germany, Greens/EFA

Evelyn Regner, Germany, Socialists & Democrats

Theresa Reintke, Germany, Greens/EFA

Erik Marquardt, Germany, Greens/EFA

Sirpa Pietikäinen, Finland, EPP

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