Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-03-12-Speech-3-023"

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"Mr President, the picture presented by the Commission and the Council today conveys an entirely different reality to that which the majority of our citizens live with, a reality in which poverty and gaps between different groups have increased. We are told that more people have found jobs, but we are not told what kind of jobs have increased. They are mostly low-wage jobs which do not enable people to provide for themselves and their children. They are casual jobs with insecure conditions of employment. This is not the model of society which we on the left want or accept. We know that there are other paths to follow, paths that lead to solidarity and justice and a society for our citizens. Any prospect of a social Europe was brought to earth when the European Court of Justice ruled in the Vaxholm and Viking Line cases. The judgments made it absolutely clear that, in the EU, free movement and the demands and interests of the internal market are more important than the interests of employees. The outcome of the judgments is social dumping. Workers from different countries are played against one another. Serious employers who want to pay decent wages and offer reasonable working conditions are outcompeted. The Court of Justice leaves no room for doubt. But why do the Commission and the Council remain passive in this matter? Why approve a Treaty which further strengthens the interests of the market against those of working people? The Vaxholm judgment gave three unequivocal answers: firstly, that the Member States may not decide on labour-market matters; secondly, that employees may not resort to disputes which disrupt the internal market – thus the Court takes away from workers their only effective means of defending the principle of equal pay for equal work; thirdly, companies which establish themselves in EU countries with lower levels of pay get the right to send employees to other countries to work for the same low wages. Trade union organisations, political organisations, non-governmental organisations and millions of ordinary people have recognised the possibility of a People’s Europe, but when will the Commission and the Council also recognise it?"@en1

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