Blair says member states must rule on worker rights

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Series Details Vol 7, No.13, 29.3.01, p8
Publication Date 29/03/2001
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Date: 29/03/01

By John Shelley

BRITISH Prime Minister Tony Blair has reiterated his country's opposition to plans to guarantee employees across the EU the right to be consulted in the management of the company they work for.

Speaking at the Stockholm summit this weekend, Blair said he believed workers should be given rights to be involved in management decisions. He defended Britain's record on doing so, but he insisted that Union-wide legislation in the area was not the way forward.

"Our concern is simply that some of these measures are best dealt with at the national level," he said. "It's not that we are against the concept of informing and consulting a work force."

The proposals on consultation of workers were originally tabled by the Commission two and a half years ago, but revived by the French during their presidency in the second half of last year.

Then they were blocked because of joint opposition from the UK and Germany, but Berlin is now believed to be willing to give way on the issue.

The Belgians are expected to make a renewed push to get the plans through during their presidency, starting in July. But Blair's continued opposition will guarantee the plans do not get a smooth ride onto the statute books.

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