PES welcomes historic EU minimum wages proposal

28/10/2020

Commissioner Nicolas Schmit

File photo: European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit

We are one step closer to guaranteeing fair wages for all Europeans, the PES said today as it welcomed the EU Directive for adequate minimum wages put forward by European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit.

The European Commission’s proposal is the culmination of years of campaigning by the PES political family to level-up wages for all. Without socialists and democrats, this proposal would not exist.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Our political family grew from the workers’ movements. Today, we again showed that we are the workers’ party. We are fighting to guarantee fair wages for all.

“Commissioner Schmit’s proposal is an important step towards fair minimum wages in Europe, it is an important step for social Europe. We know minimum wages work differently across the EU, and this proposal protects all different national systems. With Commissioner Schmit’s proposal, we can set clear objectives for fairer minimum wages, and we can reinforce collective bargaining and its positive impact on wages in all Member States. In short, we can level-up wages.

“Without European socialists and democrats there would be no proposal. I commend Nicolas Schmit for his action to secure fair wages. Supporting low wage earners is the right thing to do, especially in a crisis. Today’s proposal is part of wider efforts by socialists to secure a paradigm shift away from answering crises with wage cuts, to answering crises with adequate wages. This is the only way to achieve a fair recovery.”

Today’s announcement is a victory for socialists and democrats and our social Europe agenda. Fair minimum wages were a key demand of the PES European elections campaign in 2019 and we intend to deliver. Building on Commissioner Schmit’s hard work, our family is mobilised to deliver an efficient framework for minimum wages and strong collective bargaining.

Our drive to secure this is only made stronger but the current circumstances, which make the need to achieve fair pay even more urgent. It is time we valued the work of essential workers - many of whom are on the minimum wage – and boosted pay as one answer to the rising risks of poverty.

Further information about the proposals can be found on the European Commission website.