Proposed EU directive on minimum wages is a recipe for disaster
Today, the European Commission proposed a European directive on minimum wages and collective bargaining. This proposal goes against the majority view of EU Member States – many are in favour of a non-binding instrument – and ignores the strong objections of the European business community. It is also opposed by Nordic trade unions that are against legal interference in autonomous collective bargaining on wages amongst social partners. The proposal is against the word and spirit of the EU Treaty which protects national competences on pay and collective bargaining. BusinessEurope is not against some guidance from the EU on those sensitive issues but urges the EU institutions to pursue the objectives sought through a non-legally binding tool such as a Council recommendation.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "We want fair wages set by national social partners, not politically manipulated minimum wages. We want a truly autonomous social dialogue, not quasi-compulsory collective bargaining imposed by public authorities.
What the Commission is proposing is a legal monster. It can only lead to problematic jurisprudence because the proposed derogations cannot alleviate the problems created by the obligations foreseen. Companies are fighting for their survival and to save jobs threatened by the COVID crisis. They have no margins to absorb the cost of dangerous experiments on minimum wages at EU level."