Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Important European Court Decision (Laval Case)

The European Court of Justice has issued an important and much-awaited decision in the Laval case. The court's decision strengthens the right of labor unions to oppose "social dumping," that is, the use of workers on foreign jobs but paid at lower home-country rates. The details of the complicated decision are well-analyzed by Jean Quatremer here. In short, minimum wages are to be set by host-country law and must apply equally throughout the country (this specifically rules out minimums set by collective bargaining in specific industries), but in return unions may blockade work sites to protest non-compliance with local law.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Art,
I strongly disagree with the simplistic and dishonest reading of the Court's ruling by Quatremer on this fundamental issue. True coverage can be found here: http://www.euractiv.com/en/socialeurope/unions-frustrated-court-ruling-posted-workers/article-169235
What disturbs me most is the one-sided report in Libé and on Quatremer's blog. It is a growing problem with the alleged "educational" work Quatremer claims to be making in France: it is more and more often ideological and less and less objective. The reason for this bias, I believe, is the very reason of Quatremer's involvement in the first place, which was the campaign for the “European Constitution” referendum. Although it remains in the collective memory as the moment when French said "no" to Europe on the ground of national proud, it was also the time when many French pro-Europeans lost their credibility by arrogantly disseminating false arguments about Europe. Quatremer is trapped in the 2005 campaign. So much for education on Europe.