Swoboda warns British Conservatives not to trample on European workers‘ rights

At the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham yesterday, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne presented his plans for further cuts to welfare benefits as well as radical measures undermining workers‘ rights. Osborne proposed legislation that would allow companies to offer their employees shares worth £2,000-50,000 in exchange for giving up labour rights. Amongst the rights targeted would be regulations relating to maternity leave and the right to take legal action against unfair dismissal, as well as the right for flexible working and job training.

Hannes Swoboda, President of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, condemned the proposals:

„The labour rights employees currently benefit from were achieved through decades of tough negotiations and compromises. The legislation Mr Osborne wants to introduce would single-handedly wipe out the struggles for reasonable working conditions by generations of workers.

„This proposal is atrocious, abusing the financial pressures and worries affecting employees and substituting labour rights for a pay off. This proposal goes against all the European values we stand for.“

Referring to the latest economic forecast by the International Monetary Fund, Hannes Swoboda added:

„All economic indicators are pointing to the fact that growth must be fostered if we are to return to a strong economy – increasing job insecurity and a government-backed ‚hire and fire‘ attitude will do the opposite of stimulating internal demand.“