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Gavan welcomes Brexit Report Call for EU Social Pillar

4 July, 2017 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has welcomed the Seanad Brexit Report’s support for a greater focus on Social and Workers rights and calls for a Social Semester.

Senator Gavin said:

“A key recommendation of the Seanad Brexit report being launched today recognises the need to promote the new proposed ‘Social Pillar’ of the EU which sets out a number of principles with regard to equality, access to the labour market, fair working conditions, social dialogue, inclusion, and protection.

“The report also calls for the idea of a Social Semester to be explored, i.e. an annual report of progress with regard to social rights for each member state.

“The best means of doing this must be on an All-Ireland basis through the establishment of Special Status for the North within the EU and an upward harmonisation of Workers Rights North and South.

“The Neo-Liberal approach of the European Union in matters of economic and social policy has caused havoc and destruction for the last two decades. The Social Pillar proposals, while far from perfect, are an attempt to counter the worst aspects of EU policy. They need to be developed and given real legal standing. The fact that an All-Party report on Brexit recognises the importance of the Social Pillar is to be welcomed.

“The challenges of Brexit must not become an excuse for big business to launch a further assault on pay and conditions of workers North or South of the border. The government has a duty to support the EU Social Pillar principles and ensure they are implemented in full as a means of protecting standards of pay and conditions, and combating the growth of precarious work practices.  Every step must be taken to ensure that working people do not pay the price for the economic challenges that Brexit presents.” 

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