Resolution from the 12th Meeting of the Network 'Trade Unionists in and behind the European Left Party' 29th of September in Copenhagen

Resolution from the 12th Meeting of the Network 'Trade Unionists in and behind the European Left Party' 29th of September in Copenhagen

The European trade union movement needs a common and coordinated struggle against social dumping. Different parts of European capital are consciously using cross border mobility of workers to expand competition among workers. Varying wage and employment standards in different countries is consciously used to lower the costs of the companies in order to gain a competitive advantage over other market participants. The most negative effects on wages and employment standards of both migrants and others are concentrated in the low wage / low skills segments of the labor market.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has by its judgments (Viking, Laval, Rueffert, Luxembourg) played an active role in changing the conditions of fighting social dumping to the worse. It has intervened in the national rules of collective actions, and it has turned minimum standards to maximum standards. ECJ has reinforced the superiority of economic freedoms over fundamental social rights and made the exercise of the right of collective bargaining and action subject to considerable restrictions. These judgments violate fundamental rights as protected by national constitutions and legislation.

In order to strengthen struggle against social dumping the trade unions of Europe and all progressive parties should fight for:

  • The EU Treaties (Maastricht, Lisbon and European Constitution Treaties, mainly) must be replaced by ones that underline the superiority of fundamental social rights such as the right of collective bargaining and action over so called economic freedoms;
  • rewriting the Directive on Posting Worker, based on equal  treatment of local and migrant workers, no competition on wages and working conditions, respect for national collective bargaining and industrial relations systems and equal access of all workers to social benefits;
  • enforce minimum social standards in Europe, in the terms of the trade trade unionist network relevant resolution adopted in our meeting in Viena in 2007.

The 'Enforcement Directive', which is underway, is not doing this job. Instead it is codifying ECJ jurisprudence without introducing proper instruments and tools for monitoring and enforcement of labor standards. The trade unions in Europe and all progressive parties have to fight for including such proper instruments and tools for fighting social dumping in this Directive.

The fight for equal rights and equal treatment of local and migrant workers and no competition on wages and working conditions have to be based on internationalist class solidarity. 'Trade Unionists in and behind the European Left Party Network' is appealing to coordinate fabruary solidarity actions inside trade unions, left wing political parties and social movements.