EU can do more to promote ‘decent work’, MEPs say

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The Parliament urges all member states to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions on health and safety at work, and the EU to promote decent work for all, through its trade and development policies.

The Parliament adopted, with amendments, an own-initiative report on promoting decent work for all. With the report, MEPs are urging the EU to engage in promoting quality work and better conditions both in the EU and the rest of the world through its trade and development policies. 

According to the report, trade preferences with countries “which seriously and systematically breach fundamental social rights” should be temporarily suspended. In addition, MEPs think that compliance with international work standards should be part of the negotiations for the accession of new member states to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The report also points to fact that most countries have still not ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions on health and safety at work, maternity protection and migrant workers.

In order to improve working conditions within the EU and to “prevent people from being exploited”, the report highlights the need to guarantee broad access to lifelong learning and to harmonise pension schemes and minimum wages.

The Commission’s Communication on decent work, adopted in May 2006, aims to go beyond ensuring minimum labour rights, by clearly setting out how to promote decent work. The Communication supports the right to join a trade union, promotes collective bargaining, and the fight against forced labour, child labour and modern forms of slavery.

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