|Vol.7, No.38, 18.10.01, p9
EU LEADERS are being urged to introduce new laws to improve the rights of millions of temporary workers across Europe.
The call follows a landmark agreement between European unions and employers designed to win a better deal in the jobs market for temps. The accord was hailed as a "breakthrough" by UNI-Europa, the union grouping which led the negotiations.
Unions say the deal strikes a balance between protecting full-timers and enhancing the role of agency work in the labour market.
The importance of this type of work is underlined by recent statistics - last year, more than one-third of the unemployed in Europe who found work took temporary jobs.
Unions and employers - represented by Euro-CIETT - have now put forward an ambitious 13-point formula to the Commission which calls for equal treatment between agency workers and permanent staff and full union rights for temps. Temporary workers should also be entitled to the same benefits, such as pensions and access to training, as full-time staff, says the declaration. It also says the use of agency employment should be a means of enhancing job prospects.
Bernadette Tesch-Segol, UNI-Europa regional secretary, said: "It has been a long road but we believe the outcome of these negotiations will help millions of workers. "We hope the EU will now act upon our recommendations and recognise the growing contribution to the European economy made by temporary workers. "We recognise that only a minority of the workforce obtain work through temporary agencies but this declaration greatly strengthens their rights and should offer the chance for more unemployed people to find a way back into the labour market."
UNI-Europa is the European arm of Union Network International and represents seven million workers in the service sector in Europe.
EU leaders are being urged to introduce new laws to improve the rights of millions of temporary workers across Europe.
|Employment and Social Affairs