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S&Ds score important victory for European workers: equal pay for equal work in the same place now within reach


Social Europe & Jobs
The European Parliament, the Bulgarian Presidency and the Commission reached a common understanding on the introduction of equal pay for equal work in the same place for workers temporarily posted in another EU country. For many years, the Socialists and Democrats led the fight to revise the Posting of Workers Directive to better protect posted workers from day one and to ensure fair conditions and fair competition on the European labour market. The results of the negotiations will now be presented to the Council and the European Parliament.  
Speaking after last night's agreement, European Parliament negotiator on the Posting of Workers Directive and S&D spokesperson for employment, Agnes Jongerius, said:
"Co-workers can be colleagues again, instead of competitors. I am very proud of the political agreement reached last night between the European Parliament, the Bulgarian Presidency and the Commission. My main motivation for running for a seat in the 2014 European Parliament elections was to improve the rules for posted workers, and now this is going to happen.
“Posted workers too often are paid lower salaries and enjoy less social protection than the local workforce; some of them live and work under shocking conditions. This must change. With the new rules, we want to ensure that posted workers are protected from day one and the race to the bottom on salaries and working conditions is halted. The negotiations were at times difficult, but in the end, the negotiators managed to overcome the differences between East and West, left and right, employers and employees. Last night's agreement reflects the power of European co-operation. We call on the member states to endorse the new rules so that posted workers receive the same salary and protection as the local workforce and we finally have fair conditions and fair competition for all workers and companies in the EU.”
Keypoints of the common understanding reached between negotiators last night:
  • Posted workers are entitled to the same pay as the local workforce. Namely:
  1. Wages according to collective bargaining agreements
  2. Allowances such as thirteenth salary, cold weather payments and other benefits
  3. The reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs, on top of the salary
  • Change of the labour law after 12 months with a possible extension of 6 months, instead of after 24 months as proposed by the Commission 
Note to the editor:
The new rules still need to be confirmed between member states and adopted in a vote in the employment committee and in the plenary of the European Parliament. Today there are 2.05 million posted workers in the EU. 42% of posted workers work in the construction sector, 21.8% in the manufacturing sector and 13.5% in social services. The average duration of a posting is four months. Posting increased by 41.3% between 2010 and 2015.