Right holds out against exploitation effective control of exploitation of workers

21 February 2013

Right holds out against exploitation effective control of exploitation of workers

The Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament today voted on the enforcement of the Posted Workers’ Directive. This directive concerns, amongst other things, the rights of workers from within the European Union working in other member states, including of course the Netherlands. 'The vote was very disappointing,’ says SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong. ‘When it comes to the principle of equal pay for equal work, the right is opposed to any effective control. While the goal should be to improve these controls, we now see a text rolled out that actually limits the monitoring possibilities of the labour inspectorates. We’re taking a step back in time.’

Dennis de JongToday’s vote represents, in the SP’s view, the wrong answer to the problems created by the free movement of workers. 'A considerable number of firms in the Netherlands are not offering workers from other member states to which they have a right,’ says De Jong. ‘Increasing the number of inspectors, refinement and intensification of inspections and better cooperation between the member states should have been the answer to this. What we have now, however, is a proposal that sees inspections as a barrier to the free movement of services and subjects the labour inspectorates to all sorts of bureaucratic rules that limit their control. In fact the right-wing parties are keeping the gang-masters and rogue employment agencies that enable this exploitation out of the line of fire. It’s the world turned upside down.’

The SP’s European Parliament team has, however, not given up on this. The proposal regarding enforcement will also go before the Employment Committee and must in the end be adopted by a plenary session of the European Parliament. ‘The result of this vote should be taken as a warning that we must continue the struggle against exploitation and not prioritise in a blinkered way the administrative burdens on companies,’ says De Jong.

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