Press Release

Congress backs call for decent work across EU

Date Released: 06 October 2016

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has backed an EU trade union call for higher pay and better quality jobs across the European Union, ahead of World Day for Decent Work, on Friday 7th October.

The call from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) – which represents some 45 million union members across Europe – highlights how the European Union could help create decent work by:

  • Ensuring EU public procurement legislation requires public bodies to respect collective agreements and ensure decent pay and conditions in companies they buy goods and services from;
  • Enacting legislation that makes the main contractor liable for the wages and social contributions of subcontractors;
  • Oblige franchises to insist on decent pay and conditions, not just the quality of the goods and services.

Congress officer, David Joyce, said the ETUC call “makes complete sense. Public money should be used to support and create decent jobs, which is a key point of the Congress Charter for Fair Conditions at Work. 

“We see greater levels of insecurity and precarious work in Ireland and across the EU. That has to be tackled.”

ETUC Confederal Secretary Esther Lynch said: “Outsourcing, sub-contracting and franchising is increasingly common. It is the cause of much misery at work. Long subcontracting chains destroy wages and conditions by lowering wages and conditions of workers at every step in the chain.  In other cases, franchise agreements codify everything except the pay and conditions of workers, leaving them vulnerable to a race to the bottom.

“Companies profiting from these arrangements cannot be allowed to simply wash their hands of responsibility for the workers involved.”


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