Our Position

Social partner consultation on fair minimum wages

The European Commission has asked the recognized EU social partners about a possible action addressing the challenges related to fair minimum wages. Eurocadres replied to the consultation 24 February 2020.

1st phase consultation of Social Partners on a possible action addressing the challenges related to fair minimum wages

Eurocadres, organising professionals and managers, recognises the absolutely vital importance of fair minimum wages. Minimum wages have an effect on overall wage formation and a smaller part of our membership in some Member States can be subject to wages on a par with minimum wages. These aspects aside, we for this issue at this stage refer to the response of ETUC, representing all categories of workers, and limit our response to merely underlining a few aspects.

I. Do you consider that the Commission has correctly and sufficiently identified the issues and the possible areas for EU action?

The support for, protection and promotion of sectoral and cross-sectoral collective bargaining is vital. This includes capacity building of social partners. Eurocadres agrees with ETUC in that the Commission has only partly identified the symptom, namely that statutory minimum wages where they exist are set at rates that are too low to be fair, but failed to identify the leading cause of unfairness and the core problem related to low wages in Europe, namely the absence of adequate promotion, protection and support for collective bargaining by Member States.

II. Do you consider that EU action is needed to address the identified issues? If so, what should be the scope of that action?

As pointed out in our reply above, the support for, protection and promotion of sectoral and cross-sectoral collective bargaining is vital, including capacity building of social partners.

Agreeing with ETUC, we want to emphasise that any action must fully respect the autonomy of social partners and safeguard well-functioning collective bargaining and industrial relation systems.

III. Would you consider initiating a dialogue under Article 155 TFEU on any of the issues identified in this consultation?

Yes. We would however benefit from more clarity on the issue, including the choice of instrument, why we would find it untimely to initiate a dialogue at this stage.