The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs appointed two lead MEPs to prepare its position on the directive on adequate minimum wages in the European Union.
“Every worker in Europe should earn a decent living. The sad reality, however, is that work no longer pays for far too many people. We urgently have to tackle in-work poverty. During the pandemic, frontline workers like supermarket staff, home carers, postal workers and child minders kept our societies afloat. It is high time to value their work better; hence, minimum wages have to be fair.
The best way to ensure fair wages and decent working conditions is to strengthen social partners and social dialogue. More workers should be covered by collective agreements, and we need to invest in building the capacity of trade unions across Europe. The proposed directive on minimum wages provides us with the chance to do so.
We need real wage growth, we need to stop the downward spiral of unhealthy competition on the cost of labour, and we need to realise upward social convergence for all. When a worker is not covered by a collective agreement, a minimum wage should ensure sufficient income to make ends meet. There should be no deductions from minimum wages, and exemptions must be kept to a minimum.
Decent wages are a fundamental part of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Now is the time to implement this principle and we are ready to seize this unique opportunity. We want to further strengthen the Commission’s proposal in collaboration with the shadow rapporteurs from the other political groups. We are counting on the Portuguese Presidency of the European Council to do the same. It is a historic opportunity for social Europe and a huge chance to take Europe to a new level politically.”
The European Commission published the proposal on a directive for adequate minimum wages in the EU on 28 October 2020. It is now up to Parliament to define its position on this file and negotiate with the Council.