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The European Parliament supported by trade unionists took up its role in safeguarding Social Europe


30 Apr 2009


Social Europe & Jobs

The European Parliament and the Council finally failed to reach an agreement on the revision of the Working Time Directive. A group of countries within the Council considered the individual opt-out quite a fundamental right not to be given up. Considering that opt-outs are not designed to be the rule but a temporary exception this is not acceptable for the trade unionists and the majority of the European Parliament.

The failure to reach an agreement on the revision of the working time directive can not be considered a victory for Social Europe as the individual opt-out stays in force. Also the situation of millions of European workers with on-call duties should have been properly secured through the revision of the existing working time directive.

Nonetheless CESI highly welcomes the European Parliaments firm stand in stopping an important piece of European social law to be considerably undermined. Individual opt-out do not have a place were workers health and safety is concerned. In the time of economic crisis and a globalizing world it is ever so important to ensure that the Working Time Directive regains its key role in providing minimum standards on working time in Europe.

Klaus Dauderstädt, SOC Committee President

CESI is the mouthpiece for nine million workers in the public and private sector. Founded in 1955 as a European umbrella organisation bringing together independent and free trade unions with affiliates in more than 25 European Union Member States, it is recognised by the European Commission as a social partner.

For further information:
Nina Lucia Potzeldt
Tel.: +32 (0)2 282 1870
Fax: +32 (0)2 282 1871