USING EUROPE TO HELP THE WORKERS
by Glenis Willmott MEP
You don’t have to love the European Union – but we do have to use the EU institutions in our perennial fight on behalf of working people.
Over the years, Labour MEPs have been part of this fight. Laws originating in Europe have given us equal rights for part timers, shorter working hours, improved maternity provision, a right to paid holidays and much else besides.
My recent report, passed by the European Parliament in January, was an important next step in this fight, addressing the priorities for health & safety at work for the next five years.
Tories & LibDems voted down my proposals for action on third party violence, nanotechnologies and crystalline silica.
However, Parliament agreed most of my report, including a reduction in accidents at work by 25%, with similar targets for reducing occupational diseases, as well as action on musculo-skeletal disorders, carcinogens, and better protection of pregnant women. It also called for special attention to be paid to vulnerable groups of workers including the disabled, migrant labour and temporary agency workers.
This is politics that counts and Labour MEPs will once again be in the forefront when the Commission brings forward specific legislation on these matters – doing what we can, in the European arena, to improve the lives of working people.
GMB European News Bulletin