Published: 18/12/2018
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Following our consistent call for an ambitious initiative to ensure better living and working conditions in Europe, we welcomed commitments made by EU leaders in 2017 to building a European Pillar for social rights. This social pillar must properly address the social needs of our citizens and in particular those who need support. This includes access to universal social protection, protection of workers with unstable contracts, the reduction of inequalities, guaranteed high social standards across the EU, decent wages and protection through the work of trade unions. In the rollout of this social pillar, all economic decisions made in the EU must take into account social aspects. 

We have fought against social dumping and unfair competition, in particular for employees that are sent to work in another EU countries (posted workers). New rules, which we championed, have proved to be a huge success. They ensure equal pay for equal work at the same workplace and the fair treatment of workers from day one of the posting. This includes fair wages in line with collective agreements. Workers also have the right to various benefits and allowances, the reimbursement of travel, the provision of decent accommodation and all this on top of the salary.

We also took action against all precarious forms of employment. We sided with people working for McDonalds and for Ryanair to fight the abusive nature of their contracts and launched an initiative to ensure fair working conditions for everyone across Europe. We also supported workers from the manufacturing and steel industry who were victims of plant closures and took action to bring about re-industrialisation and ensure the protection of workers against abusive dismissals.

We were the driving force behind the youth employment initiative in Europe which provides people with a guarantee of a job, training or re-education. We supported the extension of Erasmus for 2014-2020 and that the Erasmus programme supported projects which deal with social inclusion, notably refugees and migrants. We will continue to support the European Solidarity Corps which promotes social and civic engagement among young people.

In the important balance between work and family life, we have put the spotlight on well-paid and non-transferable parental leave, as well as well-paid paternity leave and carers leave.

We also improved the Directive on carcinogens and mutagens by including repo-toxic substances in the scope of the law.

In the transport sector, we ensured strong social rights and labour laws. This guaranteed the right to training and the right to strike. We have improved working conditions in port services, the aviation sector and in the railway sector, and we continue to fight for the rights of truck drivers.

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