Today, having a job no longer equals making ends meet. Workers and the labour they perform are not valued according to their contribution to society. The time has come to build strong coalitions and find support for better social rights and higher minimum wages for EU citizens.
The socialist and democratic political family has been championing higher minimum wages for a long time. Both within the European Parliament and in Member States, socialists and democrats have been advocates for more equality. It is therefore no surprise that we have taken the lead in making the directive on ‘adequate minimum wages in the European Union’ a top priority on the European policy agenda.
We have gained momentum to make a change for the millions of minimum wage workers in the EU, and are ready to turn it into reality together with Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights. And with Agnes Jongerius, S&D coordinator in the EMPL committee, as co-rapporteur on the file.
To do so, we have put forward three concrete demands for the upcoming directive on minimum wages in the EU.
A threshold of decency for minimum wages;
fighting in-work poverty;
and strengthening collective bargaining.
Our society has evolved in a way that living costs continue to increase while wages stagnate. Meanwhile, we see that multinationals and shareholders have never before accumulated as much wealth as today. And, most importantly we must not ignore the fact that the people who are vital to our societies - the supermarket stockers, home carers, food and parcel deliverers and child care takers - are not only undervalued, but even pushed towards poverty.
It is time we stand up for our front line workers, for those who keep our societies afloat, for those who work hard every day. Because hard work deserves fair pay.
Inequalities, both within and between countries in the EU, are on the rise. The European project is about cooperation between member states, between Europeans. All workers, no matter what member state they are working in, should be able to make a living. To do so, we need to create a level playing field, for workers and for small businesses.
No workers in the EU should be structurally underpaid and taken advantage of. We should ensure that companies pay their workers adequate wages in each member state. It is time we stand up for our front line workers, for those who keep our societies afloat, for those who work hard every day. Because hard work deserves fair pay.