Minimum wages and collective bargaining – EU political agreement reached

Minimum wages and collective bargaining – EU political agreement reached

A provisional political agreement on the draft directive on adequate minimum wages has been reached. Negotiators of the Council and of the European Parliament have announced the deal today, a major step towards the adoption of this EU law.

“The draft legislation sets a signal for strengthening collective bargaining: 80% collective bargaining coverage in each of the member states is the EU’s objective. It demands government action in the majority of member states in support of collective bargaining and trade unions. This ambition is exactly what working people across Europe need,” said Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa.

“To live up to this ambition, public authorities have a very effective tool at their disposal: public procurement. Requiring that all companies that get public contracts have collective agreements with their workers is a must. This is what UNI Europa’s ‘No public contract without collective agreement’ campaign is all about. The directive will give a boost to this endeavour,” said Oliver Roethig.

The development of collective bargaining coverage (see graph), shows that it is high time for the EU and countries taking action. Democracy at work has been under attack and the number of workers who have a say at work has dramatically decreased over the past decade.

“We know the best way to ensure good wages and conditions is for workers to have a strong collective say. For laws and policies to deliver shared prosperity, they must facilitate working people’s ability to join together into unions, not hinder it. What we definitely don’t want is EU legislation messing with national collective bargaining systems that already deliver for workers and their unions. To do so, it is crucial that this directive protects national collective bargaining systems. To advance the European social models, the EU must commit to moving forward through collective bargaining,” said Oliver Roethig.

The EU’s objective for Member States to reach 80% will require a pro-worker shift in many national approaches to labour relations. Sectoral and multi-employer bargaining is a core part of those countries that are already achieving this target. When workers’ unions can collectively negotiate minimum conditions for whole sectors, it provides a mechanism to cut out corporations that seek to undercut competitors by attacking workers’ conditions.

Reports also indicate that the directive takes steps towards fixing the EU’s rules on public procurement. For over a year, UNI Europa has been pushing for corporations that exclude their workers from having a collective bargaining say to themselves be excluded from receiving public money. Momentum has been building, with over 100 MEPs endorsing union demands and people from across Europe have shown their support. Sign up to support the campaign here

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Meetings & Events

2022

06

Oct

ICTS Steering Committee

ICT & Related Services

Timetable TBC

06

Oct

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee Temporary Agency Plenary Meeting

Agency Workers

Venue and Timing: TBC

10

Oct

-

11

Oct

ICTS Workshop -EU project VS 2021 0041

ICT & Related Services

Cross sectoral EU project “Eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work”

The first session on 10 October 2022 (from 13h30 – 17H30 CET) will be a workshop providing general information on the topic of violence and harassment at work and the different tools that social partners have to prevent this.
The second session on 11 October 2022 (from 10h00 – 13h00 CET) will focus on the sector-specific issues and best practices in this context.
The objective of this meeting is to provide sectoral input for the UNI Europa Equal Opportunities project and for the declaration on violence to be drafted by the Telecom Social Dialogue Committee.