A big win for a more social Europe! Posted workers will be better protected

After two years of hard and sometimes even frustrating negotiations the European Parliament has today backed the very positive outcome of ‘trilogue’ negotiations on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. Who would have thought that? If you had asked me two years ago, I would never have believed in such a success.

Under the agreement, workers who provide a service in an EU Member State other than their country of origin will benefit not only from the minimum wage but also from local collective agreements. They shall also be entitled to the same travel, accommodation and meals allowances that their colleagues receive. This legislation will help bring an end to the exploitation of which so many posted workers have suffered in recent years. Posted workers will not only be guaranteed the same pay as their colleagues, they will also receive the same entitlements, making their terms and conditions genuinely equal.

One drop of bitterness remains though: Posted workers in the road transport sector will be excluded from the new rules until the so-called ‘lex specialis’ laying down specific rules for posting in the road transport sector is adopted. This means that more rights with regard to duration, pay and collective agreements will not apply to road transport workers for now. This might create a ‘two-tier’ directive that discriminates lorry drivers who are working under very hard conditions in a sector that is hardly controlled.

A crumb of comfort is that the European Commission will have to review the implications of the directive on the road transport sector by five years after its entry into force. With this reporting obligation, we managed to create visibility for the conditions in the road transport sector and there is a chance that this topic will be put forward again in the near future.

One of the great benefits of the EU for citizens is being able to live and work in every EU Member State. By ensuring fairness for those working across borders, we are delivering on that promise and making a more socially-just Europe possible. Now it is up to the Member States to revise their national legislation on posting so that posted workers in their countries will really profit from local collective agreements. They must deliver for the same pay for the same work at the same workplace to finally come true.

Terry Reintke | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual