EU ‘must not exclude workers’

By staff

GMB general secretary, Paul Kenny, has urged the EU to guarantee equal “access to work for all” ahead of a meeting to discuss economic protectionism.

In a letter to president Barroso, Mr Kenny claimed rulings by the European Court of Justice coupled with EU legislation were excluding workers “on the basis of their nationality”.

He argued it would be a mistake to view the current situation as “narrow protectionism”, claiming it was instead “an imbalance in the social and economic dimensions of Europe” which EU institutions are in a position to correct.

“Equal treatment of access to work for all must be guaranteed,” wrote Mr Kenny.

“GMB urges you and your colleagues in the EU Commission not to duck the issues in your discussions next week.

“You say your objective as an institution is to reach out to the people of Europe.

“Show them you mean this by remedying the disastrous effects of these European Court decisions, and revising the posting of workers directive as one of your priority concerns.”

Mr Kenny was shocked that commissioner Spidla did not act on European parliament recommendations but was instead “hiding behind” an expert committee set up to look into the matter.

He was concerned that Mr Spilda appeared to be allowing a year for the committee which he believed should take “five minutes”.

He called on the EU Commission to review what the committee was looking at, with a view to establishing a stronger role for trade unions, revising the posting of foreign workers directive and taking measures to prohibit the exclusion of workers based on nationality.