Low-cost Europe - David Pisani

The Times, Saturday, 10th May 2008
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20080510/letters/low-cost-europe

 

Żminijietna - Voice of the left sees The Lisbon Treaty as the first constitution in history to stipulate that its members adopt a neoliberal economic policy as a legal and constitutional obligation. By this the treaty is introducing new restrictions on trade union freedoms and collective bargaining rights.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) have the power to decide if industrial action offends EU competition and liberalisation directives.

This was adopted in the Laval case, where the ECJ ruled that Swedish unions had breached EU competition law by forcing a Latvian company employing workers in Sweden to observe local pay agreements.

The verdict in the Laval case suggested that unions cannot call a strike against a firm moving its employment from one member state to another in order to lower wages. That means that the ECJ is imposing new concepts of industrial relations where an employer's right to "freedom of establishment" is superior to a trade union's right to call industrial action to defend members' jobs, pay and conditions.

Żminijietna believes that the ECJ must not interfere in industrial relations matters and should allow national governments and courts to have sovereignty on collective bargaining issues.

Żminijietna - Voice of the Left questions the ECJ's neoliberal political stance and is calling on all Maltese trade unions and MEPs to join the leftist and progressive forces of the EU such as the United Left/Nordic Green Left bloc and the Confederation of European Trade Unions in their call against a low-cost Europe and in favour of a social Europe. Another Europe is possible.

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