The current open European market economy has paved the road for social dumping and exploitation in the EU. In the newspapers we read about “Pyotr” who fell from a scaffolding and was left on the street by his employer because he was not insured; we know about the extremely long working hours of the migrant truck drivers on our motorways; we see the Bulgarian workers on our building sites working from dawn till dusk without protection; we know that most migrant workers are employed in the meat industry as “modern slaves”.

The most common ways for circumventing minimum standards are associated with a business model of companies that uses the non-level playing field of the European internal market, which is facilitated by legal loopholes and a consequent lack of prevention, control and enforcement of social dumping practices. Fraudulent companies have a wide range of options they can use easily: bogus self-employment; the use of letter-box companies; inexistent or poor controls in some countries, the knowledge that cross-border cooperation and information exchange is difficult and inefficient, if not inexistent; and the fact that the cross-border collection of fines and enforcement of judgements are virtually impossible.

The practice of widespread social dumping and exploitation is a deliberate choice. The unwillingness of our governments to acknowledge the real problem and danger must be stopped. We can no longer accept that migrant workers are exploited! For this we need to increase awareness and demonstrate what the daily reality is of millions of workers in the EU. European and national politicians must accept that the current European “free movement” policy has had devastating consequences for many migrant workers. If we want we can stop the practice of “social dumping” in the EU!

European Federation of Building and Woodworkers

Rue de l’hôpital 31
boîte 1 (12e étage)
1000 Bruxelles

0032 (0)2 227 10 40

0032 (0)2 219 82 28

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