MEPs have given the green light to start talks with the governments of the European Union on a directive that will guarantee all EU workers a fair and adequate minimum wage. The European Parliament approved the mandate agreed by the Commission for Employment and Social Affairs with 443 votes in favor, 192 against and 58 abstentions. Negotiations can start as soon as the Council has agreed its position. The proposal for a directive on a minimum wage aims to establish standards basic requirements to ensure an income that allows a decent standard of living for workers and their families.
MEPs propose two possibilities to achieve this: a legal minimum wage (the lowest wage level permitted by law) or the collective bargaining between workers and their employers. Furthermore, the Parliament wants to strengthen and extend the coverage of the collective bargaining obliging EU countries with less than 80% of workers covered by these agreements to take effective measures to promote this tool. The EU Commission itself has in the past expressed itself in favor of introducing a minimum wage threshold, leaving individual countries the choice whether to pursue it through collective bargaining or by law.
The leader of the 5-star Movement Giuseppe Conte calls on all political leaders to give a signal in favor of the dignity of work.
Among the first reactions also that of the Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, former political leader of the M5s, among the political forces pushing the most for this measure: “I still remember the moment when we decided to include the minimum wage as the first point in the program of the European elections in 2019. With today’s vote in Parliament European this battle of the 5 Star Movement takes another decisive step “. “For us – he adds – the minimum wage is a commitment made with the citizens in which we believed from the first moment, and it was also the condition for supporting Ursula Von Der Leyen as President of the European Commission”.
Daniela Rondinelli, M5s MEP among those who have followed the dossier process more closely, explains that “the approval of this provision was the first point of our program for the 2019 European elections, so we can proudly say: mission accomplished , also because the text approved today presents elements that are revolutionary to say the least for the European and Italian labor market ”. More on the merits, he underlines, “three criteria are defined for determining the minimum wage, it must be above the 50% of the average salary and 60% of the national gross median wage, and be above a ‘dignity threshold‘calculated based on the purchasing power of the wages at real prices“. The minimum wage, continues Rondinelli, must cover all workers, including riders, seasonal workers, trainees and interns. Enough of underpaid workers “. The M5s MEP concludes: “Now we expect the Minister of Labor Andrea Orlando uphold the ambitious position of the European Parliament in the Council. We hope that the final approval of the minimum wage will take place during the French Presidency of the Union, in the first half of 2022 ″.
Yesterday the new German government announced the increase of the minimum wage to 12 euros per hour as one of the points of its program. The national secretary of the Italian Left refers to this Nicola Fratoianni stating that “In Germany the new government intends to raise the minimum wage to 12 euros per hour. Here in Italy, on the other hand, we are discussing nothing, we want to cut taxes on higher incomes and continue the tarantella of pensions to the detriment of young people, workers and retirees ”. The. “A measure of civilization, to improve the lives of millions of male and female workers: at least 10 euros per hour – concludes the leader of Si – extended to all types of contracts and in addition to collective bargaining. Simple isn’t it? “.