ETF meets Commissioner Thyssen to address social issues in transport

6 May 2015

On Monday 4 May European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, welcomed an ETF delegation to listen to the sector’s concerns with regard to social dumping and European social dialogue. Accompanied by her experts on legal affairs and social dialogue, the Commissioner was very receptive for the issues raised by ETF and reached out for a close cooperation in dossiers that concern the European transport sector. 

Together with ETF political secretaries responsible for the different sectors the ETF represents, ETF General Secretary Eduardo Chagas welcomed the Commission’s numerous public addresses about social dumping and making its eradication as one of its main priorities and about the importance it gives to European social dialogue. However, he questioned the veracity of the Commission’s words given the recent reduction in human and financial resources dedicated to support European social dialogue, the delay that social partners’ agreements have been encountering in the Commission services and the lack of a resolute approach so far to tackle social dumping practices in the European economy. The ETF Political Secretaries complemented the General Secretary’s intervention by giving sector specific examples of social dumping practices and unresolved issues and concerns with regard to working conditions and social rights. 

Commissioner announces a social legislation package
Commissioner Thyssen first of all congratulated the ETF with the good results it achieved via European social dialogue in terms of social partners’ agreements and acknowledged the ETF takes a lot of responsibility on its shoulders. She further confirmed the recent cuts in resources but emphasised that the current European Commission has a different and more positive attitude towards social partners and their dialogue compared to the previous team: “We are aware of the importance of showing respect to the social partners’ agreements and the work done by the social partners and I will do whatever I can to facilitate this”, Commissioner Thyssen commented. She further announced that a social legislation package is being developed and due to be ready by the end of this year: “It will focus on jobs, growth and fairness, the key priorities of this Commission, and include more inspections, better enforcement and fairer rules.” Commissioner Thyssen concluded with asking the ETF to send in any information, proposals and remarks it may have regarding social dumping practices and social legislation and promised to follow up on the issues raised by the ETF delegation during the meeting.