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Two trade union victories in the European Parliament end of 2008
The European trade union movement won two victories during the last months of 2008: the adoption of a Temporary Works Agency Directive and the rejection of the Council’s position to weaken the Working Time Directive. On 22 October, the Temporary Works Agency Directive was adopted, establishing a principle of equal treatment for agency workers and workers in the user enterprise from the first day of their assignment. An important issue for the construction sector is that this principle will also apply to cross-border agency work. Another important feature is that the social partners must be involved in the implementation of the Directive.

On 17 December, the European Parliament, by an overwhelming majority, rejected the Council’s proposal to weaken the Working Time Directive. The most important issues were 1) to put an end to the opt out possibilities, 2) the conditions for annual working time, and 3) that on call work, in principle, is to be considered as working time. This, however, does not mean that the Directive has been adopted. The finalization of the adoption process will include a conciliation procedure between the Parliament, the Council and the commission.


 
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