Reply to 1st phase consultation on a possible action on fair minimum wages

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25 February 2020
The reply provides the answers of the industries represented by Ceemet on the European Commission’s 1st phase social partner consultation under article 154 TFEU on a possible action addressing the challenges related to fair minimum wages.
  • Ceemet generally agrees with the identified factual issues
  • The Commission must clearly define core terminology of this consultation: “fair minimum wages”; “adequate minimum wages”, “in-work poverty” etc.
  • There is no legal basis for an EU action in this area.
  • An EU action in this area risks to breach social partner autonomy.
  • A -potentially politically motivated- EU action in this area risks to weaken the role of social partners and eventually weaken collective bargaining, the coverage of collective agreements and negotiated fair wages.
  • An EU action in this area could be detrimental since this is a complex issue that goes beyond the Single Market and could have a negative impact on competitiveness, productivity and thus employment.
  • Adequate conditions to support a stronger social partnership, including capacity building of social partners, should be put in place.
  • The EU should allocate more funds to support capacity building of social partners.
  • The involvement of social partners in the setting and updating of statutory minimum wages in Member States where statutory minimum wages exist should be reinforced.
  • The involvement of social partners in the European Semester should be strengthened.
  • The EU should encourage Member States to address the challenges related to fair minimum wages through the European Semester/Country Specific Recommendations, including as applicable, via reducing the taxes and social security contributions