European workers in the realm of public procurement contracts often grapple with a host of dire employment conditions, including inadequate compensation, unpaid labor, excessive workloads, illegal contractual agreements, illicit overtime demands, violations of labor rights, precarious job arrangements, intimidation, and wrongful terminations. This catalogue of real-life instances spotlights the unfortunate treatment by contractors and subcontractors who play a role in delivering public services.
UNI Europa’s “Map of Misery” is unveiled on the day of the European Parliament’s EMPL Hearing on the Social Impact of Public Procurement, where Members of the European Parliament have the opportunity to champion the well-being of workers.
Click on a European country to read examples of how public funds in EU Member States have been given to companies that exploit workers and deliver low-quality services:
This map is set to remain a dynamic resource, continually updated for reference.
This map provides a snapshot of worker exploitation and low-quality services within the European Union and to underscore the urgent need for promoting decent working conditions and empowering workers through collective bargaining.
The European Union prides itself on its commitment to fairness, equality, and the well-being of its citizens. However, this commitment stands in stark contrast to multiple instances of worker exploitation. By providing real-world examples within the EU, this report aims to present a clear picture of the problem, foster discussions and encourage actions that lead to procuring decent work for all.
UNI Europa’s campaign, “No public contract without a collective agreement,” advocates for a substantial improvement in the procurement process. It calls for a condition wherein companies can only secure public contracts if they have adopted collective agreements. Consequently, an alteration in the EU’s public procurement regulations becomes imperative to ensure that public contracts are solely awarded to companies that have embraced collective agreements. This straightforward change necessitates a resolute commitment from the European Commission, followed by prompt legislative action.
This demand is further bolstered by support from numerous Members of the European Parliament representing five political groups (EPP, S&D, Renew, Greens, and the Left).
The publication of this map coincides with the release of the EMPL study by the European Parliament on the Social Impact of Public Procurement, which underscores the challenges posed by the existing legislative framework for public procurement. The study emphasises three crucial recommendations:
Lastly, UNI Europa’s report “Green Pave the Way for Social” has unveiled that the Commission has already taken steps towards incorporating mandatory criteria in public procurement, signifying that the potential to ensure public contracts are awarded only to reputable employers who respect the voices of their workers is within reach.
The map can also be read in text form below: