Let’s use the next five years to ensure protection for all workers

13/06/2019

José António Vieira da Silva and Magdalena Valerio

José António Vieira da Silva addresses the meeting in Luxembourg

The upcoming mandate is the moment to finally ensure that all workers are properly protected, the Party of European Socialists said ahead of today’s Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO).

Meeting before the EPSCO, and for the first time since the European elections, PES employment and social affairs ministers gathered to discuss the changing nature of work.

Chair of the PES EPSCO network, the Portuguese Minister of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security, José António Vieira da Silva, said:

“The digital economy has created a young ‘precariat’, with little or no social and employment rights, who literally compete against each other for work through apps. It is time to create a solid framework for work in times of digitalisation. The future of employment is a focus for our political family, we made it clear during the European election campaign and we need to keep this issue on the agenda as we enter the new mandate. We also want to make sure all workers have a fair salary and that is why we will push for minimum wages above the poverty threshold across Europe, ending the gender pay gap and bridging the East West pay-gap.”

Europe must take advantage of the dynamics the new digital economy offers, whilst also making sure that good quality employment and strong social security systems remain in place. This is the only way we can ensure a level playing field and meaningful, secure, and dignified work for citizens.

The ministerial network also discussed the recent European elections and reconfirmed their priorities to make the European pillar of social rights a reality for its citizens by strengthening collective bargaining, promoting a European Child Guarantee to put an end to child poverty and by making the Youth Guarantee available to all young people as stepping stone towards employment.

The meeting was attended by:

  • José António Vieira da Silva, Minister of Labour, Solidarity, and Social Security, Portugal 
  • Jana Maláčová, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Czech Republic
  • Timo Harakka, Minister of Employment, Finland
  • Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Dan Kersch, Minister for Labour, Employment, Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxembourg
  • Ján Richter, Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Slovakia
  • Magdalena Valerio, Minister of Labor, Migration and Social Security, Spain
  • Ylva Johansson, Minister for Employment, Sweden
  • Luca Visentini, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation