Friday, 18 January 2019

Czechs to lose competitive advantage if EU directive changes

ČTK |
17 February 2016

Kamenice, Central Bohemia, Feb 16 (CTK) - A change to the EU Posting of Workers Directive would strip poorer countries of a competitive advantage and the Czech Republic rejects it, Czech Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova told reporters on Tuesday.

If the change, which would guarantee that posted workers would get the same wages as domestic labour forces, is implemented, the firms from poorer countries will not have enough money to pay their workers, Marksova (senior government Social Democrats, CSSD) said after a joint meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4) tripartite councils on Tuesday.

The V4 is comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The tripartite is formed by representatives of the government, employers and trade unions.

The Czech Republic rejects the proposed change to the EU directive, while the trade unions support the same conditions of all workers.

"The new EU member states where the pay level is much lower [than in the old ones] would no longer be able to pay their posted workers. It would cause an ousting of these people from the labour markets of the old EU countries," Marksova pointed out.

She said she agreed that people in one country should get the same salaries, however, such comparison was not realistic at present.

Marksova stressed that if the directive were to be revised, the new EU members would lose their competitive advantage.

The representatives of the government and employers from all four countries agreed on their approach to the EU directive, but they did not reach a consensus with the trade unions.

Josef Stredula, chairman of the CMKOS Czech umbrella trade organisation, said the unions were pushing for "the same wages for the same work at the same place."

However, the V4 tripartite councils agreed at Tuesday's meeting in the Stirin chateau in Kamenice near Prague that the current directive should be promoted. The unions say it could help reveal its possible abuse.

Copyright 2015 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor is not responsible for its content.