15 Jan 2014
S&D Euro MP Jutta Steinruck (Germany) today won a cross-party majority in the European Parliament to back new tools to strengthen labour inspections in Europe.
These new tools include an electronic social-security card to record important employment details for workers.
According to recent studies, in 2012 undeclared work in the EU accounted for up to 18.8% of wealth produced in Europe.
Following the vote, Jutta Steinruck said:
"We are calling for effective controls to fight social dumping and the exploitation of workers.
"Labour-inspection authorities in EU countries are now chronically understaffed, especially in the current climate of budget cuts. Controls by national authorities will help ensure workers' rights are respected, create fairer competition in the EU and improve income tax and social-security contributions. The application of these controls must involve both employers and workers' representatives.
"More staff are needed, in particular to deal with 'letter-box' companies and complex subcontracting chains that are used to hire workers to work in another EU country for a short period of time and exploit them.
"The economic crisis should not be an obstacle, but an incentive to make inspections work to strengthen protection for workers.
"The Socialists and Democrats however deeply regret that the right wing refused to back the introduction of a social responsibility clause in EU competition rules. This measure would have penalised the most serious cases of labour law abuse.
"The S&D group will keep fighting to strengthen the EU law in this area".
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