Speaking ahead of Labour Day on 1st of May, the Group leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Udo Bullmann, said:
“On 1st of May we celebrate workers and their trade unions, and we assess future challenges and struggles to defend workers’ rights.
“One of the biggest challenges to workers’ rights today is digitisation. Disruptive digitisation is turning our societies and economies upside down, in a way not seen since the last industrial revolution. Production processes and work structures are being revolutionised at breath-taking speed. Some predict millions of jobs will be lost; others forecast that millions of jobs will be created. Whether digitisation becomes a job creator or a job killer, and whether the new jobs will be good jobs with fair pay and decent conditions, depends crucially on how we manage the digital revolution.
“If we do not want to live in a society in which hard work no longer pays off, where entrepreneurial risk is ‘outsourced’ to workers forced into precarious self-employment, while a few get very rich – we must act now. The Socialist and Labour parties are called upon to fight this battle shoulder to shoulder with the trade union movements. Together, we managed to tame the last industrial revolution and ensure that technical progress was turned into social progress. Last time, we succeeded in a national context by pushing laws through Parliaments that safeguarded workers’ rights and social rights. This time we are called upon to do the same on the European level. With the new rules for posted workers, that will soon make equal pay for equal work at the same place a reality for all Europeans, we have proven that social dumping can and must be effectively combatted at European level. I call on the trade unions to join us in this fight to ensure that fair pay for a proper job with decent conditions will be a reality for all Europeans in the digital age. Together we can and will succeed.”