Thursday, February 05, 2009

Letter to the Guardian: challenging the rights of multinationals

Letter sent to the Guardian today;

Dear Sir,

The multiple walk-outs by engineering construction workers across Britain over the past week have indeed put the corporate threat to jobs and working conditions at the top of both the national and European agenda, as Seamus Milne rightly suggests (The target of this campaign of strikes is now obvious, 5 February).

In response, MEPs from the UK, Germany and Italy, representing Socialists and Greens, have threatened to veto this year's incoming European Commission, unless it agrees to revise the Posted Workers Directive, so that its original intention, to provide equal treatment for all workers, is upheld.

If we are to end "social dumping" in Europe, we must change the law, so that British and other European workers do not have to compete within factories and companies with those forced to work for lower wages and in poorer conditions. Instead of blaming "foreign workers", we should be challenging the rights of multinationals to undercut local pay rates and exploit workers.

It's vital that we resist the attempts of those on the far right who are using these disputes to stir up racism and xenophobia. We therefore call on MEPs from all nations and political groups to sign our Written Declaration, in order to put serious pressure on Commission and Member States to ensure that they listen to workers across Europe, and that social justice is put above corporate profit.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Lucas MEP (Green),
Glyn Ford MEP (Labour),
Stephen Hughes MEP (Labour)

No comments: