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Protection of Workers Rights not Prioritised by EU Parliament - McDonald

11 July, 2007

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has expressed disappointment with today's adoption of the resolution in European Parliament on the Posting of Workers as it fails to send a strong signal to the European Commission that the protection of workers rights is of paramount importance to European citizens.

Sinn Féin's European parliamentary group GUE/NGL tabled several proposals for maximising the benefits and potential of the Posting of Workers Directive, criticising the Commissions unbalanced position regarding the protection of workers rights.

Proposals by Sinn Féin and GUE/NGL included the requirement of a legal representative in the host country, and that the necessary documents should be kept at the workplace.

The group also called for several undertakings in order to deal with abuses in subcontracting and fighting letter box companies and bogus self employment. Speaking on behalf of the group in the European Parliament Ms McDonald said:

"I am deeply disappointed in the lack of support for our proposals to today's resolution, particularly from the PES group which the Labour party is a member of. Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael's European groups also voted against our proposals.

"The resolution represents a step back from existing Parliament positions, most recently expressed in the Schroedter report. The fact is that the Commission has not enforced the Directive, and many Member States ignore its provisions.

"These failures should not be sidestepped in arguments about proportionality or protectionism. When Parliament adopted the Services Directive, those of us who were concerned about its impact on workers' rights were assured that the proper enforcement of the Posting of Workers Directive would deal with our concerns.

"That has not happened, and the Commission has failed to enforce this Directive properly. This leaves many workers exposed, without the minimum standards necessary to avoid exploitation and abuse." CRíOCH

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