Sinn Féin - On Your Side

EU Working Time Directive must be implemented in full

22 September, 2004

Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún (6 counties) and Mary Lou McDonald (Dublin) have this morning said that the "EU Working Time Directive must be implemented in full throughout the EU if workers rights are to be protected".

Ms de Brún and Ms McDonald were speaking after the European Commission decided to impose limitations on those member states that have refused to implement the Working Time Directive, which states that employees should not work longer than a 48-hour week.

Speaking today, the Sinn Féin MEPs said:

"We are disappointed that the European Commission has merely tweaked the EU Working Time Directive and has refused to remove the opt-out clause. This clause has allowed certain member states exemption from the Working Time Directive.

"Sinn Féin also echoes the concerns of a number of trade unions who had criticised the proposals as not being strong enough in the protection of workers‚ rights.

"Sinn Féin also expresses concern that time spent on call that is not worked would not be counted as working time. The restrictions placed upon Œon call‚ workers means that they are often restricted to one particular place in case they are required by their employer at short notice.

"Sinn Féin supports the revision of the EU Working Time Directive to remove the individual opt-out.

"Sinn Féin is in support of the protection of workers rights throughout the EU. It is our view that any directive, which caps the amount of hours in a working week, is a forward thinking and sensible measure. However, governments must ensure that adequate resources are provided to meet the effects of the EU Working Time Directive." ENDS

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