Cooperation between labour inspectorates needed to combat exploitation

29 August 2012

Cooperation between labour inspectorates needed to combat exploitation

The SP’s team in the European Parliament have been joined by colleagues from Dutch centrist party D66 in urging improvements to cooperation between EU member states’ labour inspectorates in combatting exploitation of workers. ‘The member states’ labour inspectorates last May called on the European Commission to draw up a proposal for European legislation aimed at improving cooperation,’ explains SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong. ‘This concerns exchange of information, legal support and common actions against illegal labour contractors. We support this call, because both workers and honest employers are coming up increasingly against illegal practices involving workers from other member states.’

Dennis de JongIn their questions to the Commission the Euro-MPS make it clear that they want to see a more energetic and decisive response. ‘Instead of first of all establishing a general consultation, the Commission should be bringing forward legislation,’ argues De Jong. ‘That’s what the labour inspectorates want to see too – the creation of a sound legal basis for improved exchange of information between inspectorates, and for mutual recognition of administrative sanctions imposed on firms which don’t comply with standards when it comes to working conditions or conditions of employment.’ In view of the growing problem of exploitation of workers from outside the member state in which they are employed, the MEPs are urging that the matter be treated as one of urgency.

D66 and the SP often hold very different views on Europe. In this matter, however, the two parties’ MEPs are in agreement, says De Jong. Speaking of the hard right PVV, he says that Geert Wilders’ party, ‘with its website for reporting alleged antisocial behaviour by Polish immigrants in the Netherlands, has merely set different groups within the population against each other. When it comes to solutions to problems, however, the PVV has nothing to say. In the European Parliament, therefore, it’s important that parties work together that can see the problems that actually do arise, to tackle fraudulent employment bureaux and put an end to the exploitation of migrants and unfair competition for workers from the Netherlands.'

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