Johan Willemen

Johan Willemen

Urgent action on the “dramatic” situation of labour mobility in Europe is being called for by FIEC (the European Construction Industry Federation), and the EFBWW (European Federation of Building & Woodworkers).

Following a recent meeting with Dutch Minister for Social Affairs Lodewijck Asscher, the two social partners of the European sectoral dialogue in the construction industry were invited to present their views on labour mobility, and in particular on the proposed targeted revision of the Posting Directive (96/71/EC), in an informal meeting of the EPSCO Council (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

On behalf of the employers, FIEC president Johan Willemen stressed that in construction, contrary to other sectors, it was the companies and their workers that had to move to where the final product would be built. FIEC said this explained why labour mobility and, particularly, the posting of workers had always figured among the highest priorities of FIEC and the sectoral social dialogue.

Willemen said, “The increasing amount of fraud and abuse that our companies and our workers have to face, in particular in connection with cross-border operations, are undermining our social and economic models.

“The situation is becoming really dramatic and actions must urgently be taken, and this led us to develop joint proposals against social fraud, together with our social partner, the EFBWW, working together with mutual trust, focusing on pragmatic solutions and putting aside possible ideological positions.”

FIEC insisted on the need to keep the transposition and application of the Enforcement Directive (2014/67/EC) as a top priority, and that it would intervene in a constructive manner to ensure that the recently proposed targeted revision of the Posting Directive effectively provided the right answers to the concerns that it addressed.

“We need labour mobility and lawful posting for the competitiveness of our economy, but within a framework that can guarantee a level playing field for companies and respect for workers’ rights,” said Willemen.

“FIEC is ready and willing to play its role in close co-operation with our social partner, the EFBWW, and to provide you with our practical expertise for finding pragmatic solutions that have real added value and an effective impact on the field,” he added.

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