MEPs have formally signed off on a proposal to create a new European Labour Authority to oversee fair application of EU labour laws to workers who move around Europe. This is a huge step forward for mobile workers in the EU! Trade unions will have a major role in the powerful new body. But there is more work to do, so that transport workers are fully covered.
Yesterday, the European Parliament formally approved the agreement to establish a European Labour Authority (ELA). Unions have long asked for an Authority like this, which will oversee the proper application of European labour law to workers who move inside the European Union. This step forward for the project can only be welcomed. Moreover, months of hard lobbying from trade union organisations and friendly forces in the European Parliament have brought great improvements. We are especially pleased that trade unions will be able to bring cases to the attention of the Authority.
Nevertheless, this step must be followed with further progress. Some transport workers will still not get the strong protection they deserve as internationally-mobile workers. The ELA will only be able to guarantee the fair implemenation of a determined list of EU laws. Many of these are relevant to all workers, so transport workers will have more power to assert their rights. But sector-specific legislation for some transport workers is not included, which means that they will not be able to count on the ELA to ensure their employers are following the law.
Our Fair Transport manifesto calls for an ELA that all protects transport workers from abuse, and we stand by this demand. In the future we will seek to widen the scope of the ELA to cover more of the EU laws that international transport workers depend on.