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14.12.2016

EBC President votes in favour of better rules on posted workers in the EESC

Today the European Economic and Social Committee adopted its opinion on the revision of the posted workers’ directive. The adopted opinion approves the Commission’s approach to revise the 1996 directive and improve current measures. The discussion in Plenary was very heated and underlined the opposition between the Employers Group, the Trade Unions and the Various Interests Group.

Together with a minority of employers representatives, EBC President and EESC Member Patrick Liébus voiced the opinion of thousands of small companies that risk losing jobs and closing down because of unfair competition and voted in favour of the proposed opinion, as presented by the Social affairs section of the Committee.

The opinion was endorsed by a large majority of 180 votes in favour, 84 against and 30 abstentions.

During the vote in plenary, Patrick Liébus said “The impact of posted workers in the construction is very high and is becoming dramatic in certain countries. In France posted workers increased by 10 times in 10 years, going from 26,466 in 2004 to 228,600 posted workers in 2014. Posted workers represent now 5% of European construction workers.”

He concluded “The posting of workers – as currently regulated, or better said not regulated enough – is worsening workers’ rights and working conditions and is destabilising the social security systems in some European countries. Although unemployment is still painfully high and the construction sector has lost many jobs, posted workers are substituting local workers, because they represent cheap labour. This situation is certainly not helping young people access our construction professions”.

EBC is strongly in favour of better controls to avoid circumvention of the laws and fake posting. Stricter rules should also be introduced with the new directive for companies regularly working in the same country to respect the same rules.