Extracts from the debate on the report by Harlem Désir, Member of the EP, with the participation of Vladimír Špidla
End production: 20/10/2008 First transmission: 20/10/2008
On 20 October 2008, the Members of the EP, in plenary session, debated a report by Harlem Désir, Member of the EP, on the working conditions of temporary workers. Vladimír Špidla, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, took part in the discussions.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
|| Harlem Désir, Member of the EP, (in FRENCH) saying that temporary workers are more exposed to physical risks, to intensity of work, accidents at work, their training level is often lower, the stress of job insecurity is strongly felt too; however, there is a number of items of legislation to protect their situation that vary significantly from one Member State to the other; so temporary workers are protected by equality pay legislation only in 10 out of the 27 Member States; their access to training, social protection, maternity leave, vary strongly from one Member State to the other and are certainly not guaranteed in the same way in all the Member States;
saying that the EP, in the initial report by Ieke van den Burg, Member of the EP, enhanced that draft legislation in particular to try and insure that from the first day equality of treatment is to be obtained in particular when it comes to pay; when the common position was adopted in June 2008, it was taken that the general rule should be equal treatment from day one and that all these principles should be enshrined by social partners in collective bargains or agreement at national level with social partners;
|| Vladimír Špidla, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, (in CZECH) saying that first of all he would like to point out the success which had been reached in a number of points in the interest of the EP: the principles of equal treatment to be applied to agency workers as of day one; no exceptions from this rule for short term assignments, clarification of definitions and consultation with social partners or the involvement is a necessary precondition before any derogation from the equal treatment rule can be granted
|| Xavier Bertrand, French Minister for Labour, Labour Relations, the Family and Solidarity, and President in office of the Council, (in FRENCH) saying that the aim of the proposal is to strengthen the protection of temporary workers and to improve the quality of temporary work; adopting this will send out a clear signal to all Europeans and that is that 2008 might perhaps might be the year of the re-launching of social Europe
|| Ona Juknevičienė, Member of the EP, (in ENGLISH) saying that this directive is far from ideal but it could be worse; many temporary agency businesses in the United Kingdom, including the temporary agency, do now want to see the adoption of this directive, but only as it is the least worse option
|| Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (in FRENCH) saying that the text they have is based upon consensus with the social partners; the proposed directive sets out a general framework for temporary workers in the 27 Member States; and it represents extremely important progress based on the principle of non discrimination between permanent and temporary workers; they wanted to achieve transparency on the workers conditions, but also create trust between workers and employers
|| Jean Lambert, Member of the EP, (in ENGLISH) saying that it is very important that in the current climate they are actually making progress on workers' rights rather than trying to imply that those doing work on a temporary basis are somehow less important as individuals or less important economically; some work this way from choice, others work in this field because they don't have choices; in a number of rural areas, for example, where you may find limited employments possibilities, one employer who is handing out most of the jobs and if you as temporary worker dare to question the conditions in which you find yourself you may never be employed by this particular company again
|| Cutaways (3 shots)