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EU money should only go to companies that respect workers' rights

\"Every cent of public money in Europe must be spent on protecting and creating quality jobs,\" said Esther Lynch, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) at the Tripartite Social Summit in Brussels, where she expressed concern that the number of manufacturing jobs in Europe has fallen by 853,000 in a year and called for a review of the EU public procurement directives.

The theme of this year's meeting was "An economically and socially strong Europe that leads the world" and the main topic was the shortage of labour in Europe and how to tackle it. The interests of Hungarian employers were represented by Dr. Ferenc Rolek, Vice-President of the National Association of Employers and Industrialists (MGYOSZ).



The meeting was dominated by a speech by Esther Lynch (ETUC), who warned that there was no doubt about the need for action. While employment in manufacturing has fallen by 853,000 in a year, there is a shortage of quality jobs across the EU and unprecedented job insecurity across the continent.



"We need to ensure that all public money goes to organisations that create and sustain quality jobs," Lynch continued, adding, "Public procurement directives must also be reviewed to ensure that public contracts do not result in a race to the bottom. EU-funded contracts should only be awarded to companies that respect the rights of workers and trade unions."

The new rules should not be based on the principle of "lowest price for the lowest bid".

At the end of his speech, Lynch also presented a Eurofound report which found that workers experiencing job insecurity are less satisfied with the functioning of democracy in their country, less likely to vote in elections and less likely to take part in demonstrations.



In other speeches at the meeting, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for cutting red tape and giving workers more rights, while BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson pointed out that the EU's investment environment is getting worse year on year compared to our global competitors, with industrial production down 5.7% year on year in January 2024 compared to January 2023.



Dr. Ferenc Rolek (MGYOSZ) stressed in his speech that the biggest problem for Hungarian and Eastern European employers is the migration of highly qualified workers within the EU, which needs to be solved as soon as possible.



Photo: Esther Lynch, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)


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