Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Fein MEP supports workers rights in the European Parliament

20 April, 2005

After a demonstration in support of striking catering workers at the European Parliament, Bairbre de Brún MEP hosted a meeting on behalf of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament at which workers and representatives of the Belgian Trade Union Confederations, CSC and FGTB, outlined their grievances to MEPs, staff of GUE/NGL and others and sought their support.

The purpose of the strike is to draw attention to staff demands which are directed at both their employer, Sodexho, and the European Parliament which has outsourced all its catering (bars, canteens, sandwich bar, service in the meeting rooms) to Sodexho.

The end to casual contracts

The end to the continual use of temporary staff

The end of contracts of very short duration (2 to 3 days)

The end to the manipulation of overtime

The end to the requirement for excessive flexibility (7 am - 12 pm)

Improvements in working conditions

Properly maintained equipment

The end of stressful working practices

The workers told the meeting how they earn extremely low wages of between •900 and •1,100.

The GUE/NGL MEPs present stated their full support for the workers and pledged to raise the matter in the relevant Committees and bodies in the European Parliament. They also undertook to maintain contact with the workers' representatives to monitor what is done in relation to meeting their just demands.

Speaking after the meeting Bairbre de Brún stated:

'It is essential that the European Parliament, which aims to promote and defend the social rights of the people of Europe ensures that those staff employed within the Parliament are provided with reasonable working conditions'

GUE/NGL calls on Sodexho to comply with the workers legitimate demands and calls upon the Parliament to put in place procedures to ensure that all those working in the Parliament are subject to employment practices of the highest standards.' ENDS

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