Decent living and working conditions for all workers have been at the heart of the Workers' Group preoccupations for many years. Fair minimum wages are a crucial component for achieving this goal. They are more relevant than ever today: the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 crisis and the armed conflict in Europe have led to soaring prices in all fields – not least in the energy and food sector – and created a lot of hardship for working people across Europe and the world who struggle to make ends meet. This comes on top of year-long austerity policies as a result of the financial crisis that had already greatly weakened workers' rights, particularly with the undermining of collective bargaining.
The minimum wage directive will soon be adopted after a trilogue agreement was reached last June. If properly implemented, it will not only make statutory minimum wages fairer in those countries which use them but will also protect and promote collective bargaining as the best solution for fair pay across Europe.
The Workers' Group is organizing an extraordinary meeting to discuss ways to ensure that the new EU legislation on minimum wages works as a strong instrument to safeguard workers' rights. Several panels will be held to cover the various aspects of the new directive and its implementation, as well as the way ahead.