A range of labour market reforms to reinforce worker rights across Europe
We will propose a Workers Compact to reinforce worker rights across Europe. The Compact will introduce new European minimum wage legislation that includes criteria for the convergence of wages across Europe, applying especially to member-states where there are no collective agreements. It will create a new EU working standard, with a maximum of 35 hours of work per week and a minimum of 35 days of vacation leave per year. It will fund a new all-European Work Inspection Agency that will coordinate and monitor member-state institutions to oversee employers’ compliance to labour laws and fair treatment of employees.
Transnational Workers Commission
A commission to strengthen collective bargaining across the continent
If Europe’s corporations operate transnationally, Europe’s workers must organize transnationally, as well. Currently, several international corporations rely on precarious labour and play off workers of different countries to lower costs. European Spring will set up a Transnational Workers Commission that will strengthen collective bargaining across the continent. The Commission will act a ‘union of last resort’ for workers that currently lack access to a labour organization. And the Commission would support the formation of new transnational unions to challenge corporations that rely on precarious labour.
Equal Pay Standard
End gender-based discrimination in the workplace
We are calling for a pan-European Equal Pay Standard (EPS) in order to end gender-based discrimination in the workplace. The EPS will prevent employers from inquiring about past income as the basis for salary negotiations, therefore forcing all employers to base pay on qualifications. The EPS will also force employers to publish their internal salary payments to increase transparency. All employees will be allowed to petition discrepancies in pay between colleagues, and employers must respond with detailed reasoning for remaining pay gaps.
All self-employed workers should rights to minimum wages and decent working conditions
For many workers, self-employment provides freedom and flexibility. But some companies — in particular, online platforms offering transport and delivery services — circumvent worker protections by substituting employees for contractors. European Spring believes that self-employed workers should have access to the same rights to minimum wages and working conditions as all other workers. We will reform the competition law that limits the potential for self-employed workers to collectively negotiate fees and working conditions. We will fight to expand existing labour regulations, social protections, and employer contributions to include self-employed workers.
Ending Artist Exploitation
We recognize that artists cannot work without pay
We will put an end to artist exploitation. We call for all public institutions to cease the use of contracts that deprive artists of their right to dispose of their works. Contracts for one-off presentation should be used whenever work is not purchased for collection. When artists are preparing works for institutions, they should be hired on the basis of contracts that ensure they are granted social security, leave, and all other workers’ rights. Artists cannot work without pay.
Ending Youth Exploitation
An end to unpaid internships and under-paid internships
We will crack down on youth exploitation. We call for an end to both unpaid internships and under-paid internships that cut wages under the legislated minimum. We will support the formation of youth unions on the Transnational Workers Commission that can bargain on behalf of young workers.