Speaking ahead of a debate on ‘Reducing inequalities with a specific focus on in-work poverty’, the S&D Group calls for fair minimum wages, action to better protect platform workers and a social progress protocol.
Marianne Vind, S&D MEP responsible for in-work poverty, said:
“Work used to be the best tool to combat poverty. Today, this is no longer the case. One in ten European workers is at risk of poverty. The precarious tendencies in the labour market are deepening inequalities, as atypical, part-time and short-term work are on the rise. The growing digital economy and platform work are increasing the number of workers in precarious employment. The S&D Group is fighting to ensure that offline and online workers enjoy the same rights. Platform workers must be recognised as employees and given the rights as such. We welcome Commissioner Schmit’s announcement that he will put forward a proposal for platform workers.”
Agnes Jongerius, S&D MEP and spokesperson for employment and social affairs, said:
“At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we stood every evening on our balconies and applauded Covid-19 heroes for keeping our societies afloat. We are indebted to the nurses caring for our sick, the farmworkers, lorry drivers and store workers ensuring our food supplies, childminders, refuse collectors and delivery staff. Essential but undervalued and underpaid, sums up the situation for many of these heroes working in precarious conditions. Now it is time to show some respect and make sure these heroes receive fair minimum wages. Work must always pay, minimum wages have to be living wages, established by either law or collective bargaining according to national practices.
“As the social emergency is growing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the S&D Group is fighting for a fair and sustainable recovery that will reduce inequality and combat poverty through clear and mandatory targets. At the Porto Summit in May, we will lay the groundwork for the Europe we will live in in 2030 and we call on EU governments to put those left behind first for once.”