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European incapacity to tackle exploitation of posted cross-border workers, social fraud and social dumping
After having spent millions of euro on studies, assessments and research, eternal political debates and publications, the European Council clearly demonstrated on 5th March its resilient unwillingness to resolve the problem of exploited posted workers, social fraud and dumping.
Every day thousands of cross-border posted workers are exploited as modern slaves! The workers are employed with no (or poor) social security, they are employed at scandalous low wages (2 or 3 Euro per hour are no exceptions), they work around-the-clock with poor compensation, their wages are constantly being reduced (via so called fines and penalties), they are accommodated in barracks, caravans or run-down houses. Although the problems are well-known, the European Council has categorically refused to remedy the problem.

The Council has decided that Members States can only impose administrative requirements and control measures which are “justified and proportionate”. Thus, every company or Member State would be able to get rid of dissuasive control measures of another country by questioning their legitimacy. In addition to this national restriction, all countries will have to inform and communicate the control measures taken to the European Commission, which will monitor the application “closely”. As such, the European Commission will unilaterally decide which control measures are allowed or not.

The Council has proposed a so-called chain liability of the main contractor for the non-payment of wages by the subcontractors. The reached deal is pure window-dressing. The liability is only applicable to the direct subcontractors and can be circumvented by letterbox companies and intermediaries. The chain liability is only mandatory for the construction industry, as if no fraud takes place in other sectors like the meat processing, transport and catering sectors. And finally, main contractors may be exonerated if they have applied “due diligence”, a subjective and arbitrary control measure.

The European Parliament can and should reject the provisional deal on the Enforcement Directive. On 18th March the Employment Committee should be bold and reject the Council position!
The Council deal is unacceptable and should be rejected by the Parliament

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Posting of Workers